Sea Dwellers Dive Center, Key Largo, Florida
Conchs. That's what the locals call themselves in the Florida Keys. And while many people associate these large mollusks with the islands in the Caribbean, there is no other culture that has taken on the title with such enormous pride as the residents of the Keys. Most people are probably more familiar with its shell (hold it to your ear to hear the sound of the ocean) than the animal that inhabits it (an immensely strong muscle), but it's a fitting symbol for the people who have settled in this area. Just about everyone's lives are tied to the ocean in one way or another, and they are fiercely protective of their surrounding waters and take great pride in sharing their treasures with all who visit.
Key Largo is one of the northernmost Keys and offers a multitude of accommodation choices from bed-and-breakfasts to five-star resorts. And right in the middle of it all is PADI 5-Star Sea Dwellers Dive Center. Nothing could be easier its boats depart from the Holiday Inn Key Largo Resort just one block away on Key Largo Harbor. The Holiday Inn is one of Key Largo's premier resorts with two pools, a whirlpool tub, Bogie's Café and the Tiki Bar, and is within walking distance of several other popular Key Largo restaurants and bars. The folks at Sea Dwellers can set you up with a great dive package that includes your room, buffet breakfast and two dives per day for one amazingly low price, and get you out for some great dives in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary such as Molasses Reef or Pickles Reef, or a dive on the famous Christ of the Abyss statue. If wreck diving is your thing, there's plenty to choose from, including the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Duane, the World War II wreck of the MV Benwood or the famous Spiegel Grove, the largest artificial reef in the world at 510 feet long and 84 feet wide.
And don't expect to rough it when you dive with Sea Dwellers. Its boats are large and comfortable, and you'll never carry your own tanks. Just sit back and enjoy the ride while the crew does the heavy work. You'll be feeling like a pampered guest while saving a bundle.