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Scuba Diving in Myrtle Beach: What to Know

When you’ve had your fill of local waterparks in Myrtle Beach, it’s time to level up your underwater adventures! Beyond its sunny shores and iconic sandcastles, Myrtle Beach unveils a hidden gem for scuba diving aficionados.

Quaintly situated along the South Carolina coast, Myrtle Beach offers divers a one-of-a-kind underwater experience with its open waters, diverse marine life, and fascinating dive sites. And there's no better place to stay than the Captain's Quarters in the heart of Myrtle Beach, where oceanfront views and comfortable accommodations are waiting to welcome you home after a long day on the water!

Whether you're a lifelong diving enthusiast or looking to just dip your toes into scuba diving for the first time, Myrtle Beach has a handful of dive shops catering to every kind of comfort level. From exploring sunken ships to swimming alongside colorful fish, the dive sites here are as unique as they are breathtaking.

This is your guide to descending into the beautiful underwater world of Myrtle Beach!


About Scuba Diving in Myrtle Beach

Photo Credit: Dudarev Mikhail

Myrtle Beach's waters tend to have the best visibility during the summer months. Visibility is dependent on the weather systems that may stir up the bottom, where less stirred up sediment means clearer waters. Visibility can range from an incredible 10 to 30 feet, depending on weather conditions and the specific dive site.

Better yet, the Gulf Stream keeps the area flowing with warm water, making for pleasant dive temperatures year-round. Looking for the most current visibility reports? Make sure to check with local dive shops like Express Watersports or Coastal Scuba before your dive, as they provide daily updates based on their excursions.

Dive types range from reefs to shipwrecks in a range of 25 to 60 feet of water.

Scuba diving excursion costs will change depending on the operator, quantity, and type of dive.


The Best Dive Locations in Myrtle Beach

Photo Credit: picryl

Barracuda Alley

Baby stingrays, anyone? That’s an easy find at the Barracuda Alley artificial reef, made up of steel A-frames and concrete piping, which sits at a comfortable 63 feet of water. This reef initiative is thanks to a cooperative effort between Coastal Scuba and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, which gives a home to local reef life and marine life thrills to divers.

Divers can swim through the A-frames for extra excitement while enjoying the sights of barracuda, spadefish, and plenty of other marine life. You’ll have to boat 10 miles off the coast to access this dive spot.

Charleston Tug Dive Site

Relish entire schools of mackerel at the Charleston Tug Dive Site, the best scuba spot in Myrtle Beach, for consistent and unparalleled visibility of an endless stream of reef fish that swim along the wreck’s ledges. The 130 foot tug sits upright with ropes on the bow that lead to several nearby armored personnel carriers.

While Spanish mackerel are the most likely large groups of fish you’ll see, there are some local barracudas, black sea bass, and gobies as well! The best part? You don’t need a ton of scuba experience for this spot since it’s beginner-friendly at a moderate 62 feet.

The Sherman Wreck

Dive into history with a visit to the Sherman Wreck, a Civil War relic resting beneath the waves near Myrtle Beach. Sitting in 55 feet of water, the 196 foot vessel once owned by the Navy was carrying cargo down the Atlantic Coastline when it sprang a leak and sank in 1874.

Ideal for history enthusiasts and marine life lovers, this site offers an intriguing glimpse into the past, surrounded by schools of fish that now call the shipwreck home. It’s an easier wreck dive and is suitable for all levels.

Goldfinch Reef

Explore the underwater spectacle at Goldfinch Reef, home to a 150-feet Navy yard oiler and a 120 feet fuel barge resting on the ocean floor. This site boasts significant coral growth and a purposely run line between the two structures, providing an easy guided swim through an aquatic corridor rich in history and marine biodiversity.

Enthusiasts will revel in the company of grouper, pinfish, grunts, snapper, and sea bass, with occasional visits from sand tiger sharks and sea turtles. With its excellent visibility and accessible depth, Goldfinch Reef offers novice divers a fun introduction to the underwater wonders of Myrtle Beach.

The Bill Perry Reef

Plunge into the vibrant ecosystem of the Bill Perry Reef, part of the innovative South Carolina Artificial Reef Program. Here, an eclectic mix of maritime relics, including a 103 foot tugboat that was intentionally sunk in 2019, Navy landing crafts, and a shrimp trawler. Each merges to become part of the artificial reef to form a bustling underwater community.

This environment offers divers a unique opportunity to explore historical remnants while swimming among schools of tropical fish.

Artificial reefs serve a purpose akin to natural coral reefs, which cannot grow in the temperate waters along the South Carolina coastline. These man-made constructs are often set up on flat seabed regions, enhancing the habitat and breeding areas for various fish and marine species. This enhancement not only benefits the marine ecosystem but also draws in recreational divers and fishermen.


Marvel at Myrtle Beach's Marine Life

Photo Credit: Natursports

Cruising the depths of Myrtle Beach isn't just an adventure; it's an opportunity to meet some of the ocean's most fascinating inhabitants up close. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Tropical Fish: The reefs are alive with colorful fish like angelfish and clownfish, offering a dazzling display of underwater beauty.

  • Sea Turtles: The graceful sea turtles, especially loggerheads, are a common and mesmerizing sight during summer dives.

  • Dolphins and Sharks: It’s not uncommon to see dolphins at play around dive sites and even on the way out to drop in.

  • Wreck Residents: The area's wrecks have become ecosystems of their own, sheltering species like snappers, groupers, and moray eels.


The Best Scuba Shops in Myrtle Beach

Venture beneath the waves of Myrtle Beach, where the ocean floor is a mosaic of coral reefs and sunken treasures, each dive an invitation to explore and discover.

Express Watersports

Embark on a guided dive adventure with Express Watersports, where the ocean becomes your playground. Beyond gear rental and dive training, they're celebrated for their eco-dives, focusing on marine conservation and responsible diving practices. Their signature dive to the previously mentioned Sherman Wreck offers the rare opportunity to witness artificial reef ecosystems thriving with life.

Pro Tip: Express Watersports also offers PADI scuba certification, scuba gear sales, private scuba diving day trips, lessons catering to a variety of skill levels, and more!

Coastal Scuba

  • Address: 1903 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, SC

  • Website:

Coastal Scuba invites you to plunge into the heart of Myrtle Beach's underwater world, offering bespoke full day dive experiences for both novices and advanced divers. They also offer Discover Scuba courses for ages eight and up as well as refreshers for experienced divers.

This outfitter specializes in tours to Sherman Reef, Barracuda Alley, and the Charleston Tug wreck site. Each dive has a calendar date with scheduled group trips, or you can opt for a private excursion – check the website for details!


Stay and Scuba in Myrtle Beach

Once you’re all scuba’d out? It’s time to sit back and relax in your fully equipped suites here at the Captain's Quarters Resort. We offer endless lounge spots and amenities like pools, sandy beach access, and delightful ocean views to truly calm the mind on your vacation.

Ready to take the first step in your scuba adventure? Book your stay today!

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