Best scuba diving in Texas: Dive the Gulf of Mexico – Yee Haw!

Mar 04, 2019 BY Mark Pawlak

It’s a state you probably associate more with baseball and broncos, but the best scuba diving in Texas is rather good. And because you can dive the Gulf of Mexico, Texan rivers and lakes there is lots of variety.

Dive the Gulf of Mexico

‘Versatile’ is the word that sums up the Lone Star State’s scuba diving attractions. There are over 30 spots along the Gulf of Mexico alone with more in lakes and rivers.

Best scuba diving in Texas Dive the Gulf of Mexico Flickr CC image of Comal River by rubengarciajrphotography

Due to the Texan military and maritime history there are numerous sunken wrecks to explore. Quarries and watery canyons add an extra dimension of underwater fun to be had.

Best scuba diving in Texas

We have picked what we feel are five of the top spots to scuba dive in Texas. Please let us know your favourites in the comments at the bottom. If we like the sound of them we’ll add them to the article.

Ship’s Graveyard

Just 7.2 miles off the coast of South Padre Island are two oil rig jackets. There is also a sunken ocean tugboat with engine room and wheelhouse intact, plus a 150-foot US Navy utility vessel.

Those wanting to learn the basics of wreck diving can use the drift and tag lines of operators’ barges. As a result, newbies can drop deep without ever breaking loose with the barge.

Seven and One-Half Fathom Reef

Ten millennia ago, nearby Seven and One-Half Fathom Reef was home to woolly mammoths and mastodons. Today it is a ridged and craggy playground for a zoo of purple morays, elegant sea horses and funky grouper.

Flickr CC image of diving Flower Gardens by NOAA Photo Library

It’s worth sticking around this area for a few days. South Padre Island is a great holiday destination, consequently it makes a good dive base.

Coral Kingdom

Coral Kingdom is located in the northwest of the Gulf of Mexico. Complex brain corals and gleaming star corals characterise Flower Gardens.

Visibility is 75-150 feet. Therefore, you’ll have no problems seeing these features along with amberjacks, great barracuda, angelfish and red snapper.

Inks Lake

Drive 50 minutes northwest from Austin and you’ll find yourself in a gorgeous oasis by the name of Inks Lake. Its compelling rock formations shelter a panoply of fresh water marina life located up to 60 feet deep. The striped bass is the star of the show.

Bring your own air, as the dive facilities are limited. However, Inks Lake has plenty to do après-dive: golf, mountain biking, hiking and camping.

Best scuba diving in Texas Dive the Gulf of Mexico Flickr CC image of Redbreast sunfish by Charles & Clint

Diablo Cove

Amistad National Recreation Area is situated inland on the Mexican border and is best known for its 40-foot deep dive platform at Diablo Cove. That most American of icons – railroad tracks – can be found embedded in the sand 100 feet down from the cove.

Visibility is best on the leeward side of the Highway 90 Bridge. From late November to early April is reaches 30 feet. Maybe you’ll even see the iconic yellow catfish.

Because there are over 30 spots to dive the Gulf of Mexico you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained. And you can always put your stetson on afterwards…

We hope you found this guide to the best scuba diving in Texas useful. If you have a favourite spot that is not included please leave a comment below. Be sure to check out our scuba diving holiday discounts as you could save a fortune.

Austin, Gulf of Mexico, North America, South Padre Island, Texas, United States
Scuba Diving
Advanced, Beginner, Coral Reef, Intermediate, Wreck Diving
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