Northwest Florida: a hidden gem for divers, snorkelers and surfers

Its finally here! Reef Smart’s Northwest Florida guidebook is now available for preorder, with an official publication date of May 25, 2021

Front cover of the Reef Smart Guides’ Northwest Florida guidebook. Reef Smart Guides ©

Reef Smart Guides is proud to announce the publication of our Northwest Florida Dive, Snorkel and Surf guidebook – the sixth book in our dive travel series.

The pre-order link is already available on Amazon, click here to purchase. If the price changes between now and publication, Amazon guarantees the lowest price, so go ahead, lock in your order and be the first to get this new guidebook hot off the press!

Many of the region’s local dive operators have requested advanced copies direct from the printer, so the guidebook will also be available in local retail stores by mid-May.

Henerderson Park West Reef – one of 27 shore accessible sites that are modelled in the Northwest Florida guidebook. Reef Smart Guides ©

“We were blown away by the exceptional diving, snorkeling and surfing we discovered in Northwest Florida,” said Reef Smart USA president Peter McDougall, who was instrumental in making this book a reality. “We first started collecting data in this region two years ago and the book kept on growing, month after month, as we added new sites, including all the region’s shore-accessible dive and snorkel sites and even some of the freshwater springs located inland.”

The outcome of all this work is a guidebook that can be considered one of Reef Smart’s most comprehensive to date. The Northwest Florida Dive, Snorkel and Surf guidebook is 336 pages in length and includes descriptions of 137 dive and snorkel sites along the Gulf Coast of the Florida Panhandle as well as two freshwater springs.

There are 3D models of 48 of the region’s most popular sites, including the historical wrecks of the Tarpon and Empire Mica, as well as numerous tugs, freighters, and US Navy vessels like Strength, Jeff-A Hovercraft and the mighty Oriskany – the world’s largest artificial reef. The guidebook also includes 27 shore-accessible sites, six surf sites and a 33-page species section that features over 100 species.

This work would not have been possible without the efforts of Alex Fogg, the Coastal Resource Manager at Okaloosa County, and a number of the region’s dive operators and dive professionals, including Panama City Diving, Red Alert Diving, and Scubatech NWFL who came together to help map and review many of the 3D models contained in the book.

The 3D model of USS Strength from the Northwest Florida guidebook. Reef Smart Guides ©

“We’re thrilled to have completed this guidebook in time for the start of the new season in Northwest Florida, so we can help thousands of visitors and locals discover the incredible underwater sites across the region,” said McDougall.

Reef Smart is a sponsor in the Emerald Coast Open lionfish tournament this year, which runs from May 14 to 16, 2021. Copies of the Northwest Florida guidebook, as well as Reef Smart’s series of waterproof cards for the region, will be distributed as prizes during the event.

Reef Smart’s Northwest Florida guidebook will be available for purchase at all major book retailers across North America and Europe, including Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, Indigo and Chapters, Target, Walmart, Book & Books and Waterstones. The guidebook will also be available for purchase at local book retailers and dive operators in Northwest Florida and online at Amazon.

Learn more about our guidebook series.

Learn more about our series of waterproof cards for Northwest Florida.

Preorder your copy of the Reef Smart Guides Northwest Florida Dive, Snorkel and Surf guidebook through Amazon.

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