I moved to Florida from Minnesota a little over a year ago. As a dive junky, I was drawn by the easy saltwater access, and warm climate. I didn’t really expect to be doing much fresh water diving in Florida, especially being I live less than a mile from the coast.
Florida does have some unique fresh water diving opportunities though! They have a large concentration of fresh water springs, and accompanying underwater cave systems! The spring water is usually really fresh, clear, and relatively warm (at least compared to Minnesota’s fresh water). Most of them stay in the mid to low seventies year round.
I have heard about similar dives when I was Mexico, but they called them “cenote” dives. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to partake in any of those cenote diving adventures when I was there.
Some of the cave systems will require you to have a cavern diver certification, at least to get to into the deeper areas of the caves. Cave diving can become a very expensive endeavor. Many of the cave divers I see use rebreathers, and/or do multi-gas dives. Getting a cave diving certification will allow you to dive the deeper and tighter cave systems though.
There are many springs where you can dive with just an open water diver certification too though. I, personally, do not have a cave diving certification. I was, however, able to dive several underwater crevices, caverns, and sink holes in Florida, and so can you!
If you want to dive some of Florida’s fresh water springs, a good site dedicated to them is FloridaSprings.org. It doesn’t have all of the springs on there, but it’s a great place to start. Not all of the springs listed allow scuba diving either. But, most of them say whether they do or not right on the site.
Below is some video footage from my last dive at Paradise Springs.