Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Manatee County
Spanish Rocks Reef
Florida, USA East
Spanish Rocks Reef is unique in that it is one of the very rare saltwater shore dives on the west coast of Florida. This dive site consists of limestone ledges that vary in height off the bottom from about a foot to about five feet high in certain locations. Life on the ledges are sponges, tunicates, lots of sea weed, and some corals (hard coral, sea fans, gorgonians). Various tropical fish live on an around the ledges with turtles and nurse sharks spotted on occasion. Average depth is from 15 to 20 feet based on tides. Visibility is highly dependant upon prevailing wind direction and strength. This dive site located off of Bradenton Beach, FL on Anna Maria Island. To get to this location find the beach access point on Gulf Drive North and 33rd Street. 33rd Street is only 50 to 100 feet long and serves as the parking lot for the local beach access. A way to get there from the mainland is to take SR 64 (Manatee Ave.) to Gulf Drive North and then go south about a quarter mile. If you keep going south along gulf drive for about another 1.5 miles you will get to the other Brandenton Beach shore dive site the Wreck of the Regina (aka Sugar Barge). The 33rd St. Gulf Drive N. beach access is marked by a small blue green sign to the west. From the Beach access point find the reef by walking south along the beach six houses and then head out from there due west for a couple hundred yards. You have to go past the sandy bottom area. If the visibility is poor it can be easy to miss. The ledges then heads towards the west away from shore at an angle.