Blue Heron Bridge: FULL Guide to Diving (2023 Edition)

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Welcome to Florida.


In this blog post, we’ll tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about diving at Blue Heron Bridge, this includes what to expect, how much it costs, dive plans, transport to get to the bridge, where to stay in the area, and much more!


EVEN BETTER: We’ll provide you with insider tips and tricks!


The Blue Heron Bridge was chosen in 2013 as the BEST DIVE SITE IN THE WORLD by PADI’s Sport Diver magazine for good reasons… Its diversity of marine life and its easy accessibility are just two of the many important traits of this terrific dive site.


Would you like to know what to expect from Blue Heron Bridge? Check out the video below!


The Blue Heron Bridge, one of the most renowned dive and snorkel sites in The Palm Beaches, is located in Riviera Beach, Florida.


Specifically, the bridge can be accessed at Phil Foster State Park, which is situated at 900 East Blue Heron Boulevard.


The dive site under the Blue Heron Bridge is divided into two distinctive parts: the SMALLER bridge on the southeastern side, and the LARGER bridge on the southwestern side. It’s located on the Intracoastal Waterway just inside of the Lake Worth Inlet.


Moreover, the famous Blue Heron Bridge is often rated as one of the top 10 shore dives worldwide.

Read further below on what to expect from diving!

The bridge provides EASY ACCESS for diving just a few feet from convenient PARKING.


Blue Heron Bridge Diving

Diving at the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach, Florida is rated as one of the TOP SHORE DIVES WORLDWIDE due to its unique and exciting underwater experience. The bridge spans the Intracoastal Waterway just inside of the Lake Worth Inlet.


The dive depths at Blue Heron Bridge range from 5 to 54 feet, making it suitable for every level of dive experience. This makes it ideal for beginners and also offers plenty for experienced divers to explore.


Night dives are allowed but only by permit, and several local dive shops, including Pura Vida Divers conveniently located near the bridge, can assist with this.

Curious about what fish to see? Keep reading! 

Blue Heron bridge Diving
Blue Heron bridge Diving

Marine Life

The biodiversity under the bridge is impressive. The structure of the bridge itself provides a refuge for many of these species, creating a thriving ecosystem.


Among the highlights of this extraordinary dive site are seahorses and pipefish in a spectrum of sizes and hues.


You can also discover octopuses, particularly the Atlantic long arm, also known as the mimic octopus.


The list of unusual marine life you may encounter doesn’t end there; it includes sea robins, flying gurnards, batfish, frogfish, stargazers, and over a hundred different nudibranch species, just to name a few.

Marine life at Blue Heron Bridge
Marine life at Blue Heron Bridge

Blue Heron Bridge Snorkeling

Snorkeling enthusiasts can also enjoy themselves at Phil Foster Park, thanks to the newly added snorkel trail at the Blue Heron Bridge.


Now, even those without scuba certification can experience the wonders of this incredible marine park.


The Phil Foster Park Artificial Reef and Snorkel Trail, which was inaugurated in August 2012, is a sprawling 800-foot-long artificial reef that features over 600 tons of Anastasia rock boulders.


With depths ranging from six to ten feet, it’s accessible for most snorkelers.


Even though it has only been 11 years, the trail has already become a haven for numerous marine species. A lot of juvenile tropical fish can be spotted darting playfully around this man-made reef.

But what about the tides? See below! 

West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach

Tides at Blue Heron Bridge

Because of its location so close to the Lake Worth inlet, tidal flow can be quite strong at any time other than slack tide around the bridges. Low slack tide has dirty water from the inlet so visibility will be at its worst.


One of the key factors to keep in mind when planning a dive at the Blue Heron Bridge is the tide. The best time to dive the bridge is between an hour before and after high tide. At this time, clear water from the Atlantic Ocean allows for the best visibility.


Here you can find a link to the Blue Heron Bridge Tide Chart. Squid


Getting to the Blue Heron Bridge in Florida can be achieved through several transportation options. If you’re driving, you can use Google Maps for directions. This is a popular choice for both local and out-of-state visitors.


If you’re near Riviera Beach or in Palm Beach County, public transportation might be an option. The Palm Tran bus service has routes that pass near Phil Foster Park, where the Blue Heron Bridge is located.


For those who prefer a more personalized experience, hiring a local guide can be a great choice. Guides often provide transport services as part of their packages.


Additionally, some dive shops like Pura Vida Divers, located on Singer Island (just past the Blue Heron Bridge), provide directions to their shop from various locations.


Regardless of your chosen mode of transportation, it’s worth noting that the Blue Heron Bridge area is internationally recognized by scientists, scuba divers, and underwater enthusiasts, making the journey well worth it.

Google Maps application
Use Google Maps for navigation

The best time to visit

The diving is best from May through July, but it’s possible to dive year-round. Be sure to check the tide table before planning your dive. Because of the tidal flow, currents must also be taken into account.

diving suits blue heron bridge

Diving Packages

Discover Freediving

Have you wanted to try our free diving? Then here is your chance! Live Free Diving, a local diving organization, offers free diving training at the Blue Heron Bridge! Here’s what the activity looks like:

  1. Professional Guidance: Under the supervision of certified instructors, you’ll receive comprehensive instruction in modern freediving techniques.
  2. Informative and Flexible Program: The program is designed to be highly adaptable, catering to different learning paces and styles. It’s informative, enjoyable, and structured to accommodate beginners.
  3. Skill Development: Participants learn a range of crucial freediving skills, from breath-holding techniques to static and dynamic apnea, all essential components for safe and successful freediving.
  4. Emphasis on Safety: The course emphasizes proper buddy procedures, ensuring that safety measures are ingrained from the start, instilling confidence and comfort in the water.
  5. Progressive Learning: Completing the Discover Freediving course often instills confidence in participants, enabling them to consider the challenge of open-water diving. This sets a solid foundation for those interested in pursuing further certifications, such as the PADI Freediver Certification, in the future.

You can book the activity here for 250 USD!

Freediving Course with Live Free Diving
Freediving Course with Live Free Diving

Snorkel Tour

One of the organizations that we recommend is a GUIDED SNORKEL TOUR at Blue Heron Bridge with Visit Palm Beach.

  1. Expert Guides: Dive in with experienced instructors, Keke & Farrell, who’ll lead you on an exploration of the snorkel trail under the Blue Heron Bridge.
  2. Protected and Accessible Location: The snorkel trail, located under the bridge and protected from boat traffic, offers easy shore access, making it ideal for all levels of experience. The calm, shallow waters (6 to 10 feet deep) create a comfortable environment for exploration.
  3. Diverse Marine Life: Encounter much sea life, from parrotfish and angelfish to octopuses and stingrays.
  4. Intimate Group Experience: With small groups of up to 8 people and a maximum of 4 guests per guide, you’ll receive personalized attention and guidance throughout the tour.
  5. Top-rated Snorkeling Spot: Explore one of Florida’s best snorkeling spots and among the world’s top shore dive destinations, ensuring an exceptional underwater adventure.

You can book your snorkel tour here!


Where To Stay

Below are three hotels near the Blue Heron Bridge that cater to different budget ranges:



The Breakers Palm Beach – This luxurious hotel provides an unforgettable experience with its private beach, golf course, spa, and fine dining restaurants.



Marriott’s Oceana Palms – Located on Singer Island, this hotel offers spacious rooms, stunning ocean views, and a variety of activities like golf and boating.



La Quinta Inn by Wyndham West Palm Beach – Florida Turnpike – A budget-friendly option that provides comfortable accommodation and easy access to local attractions.


We love using for hotels. Their website is easy to use, you immediately know when you have to pay (we always pay at the accommodation itself, never in advance), and sometimes you’ll even get breakfast FOR FREE!

Nearby Attractions

Here are some nearby attractions to the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach, Florida:

  • Cruisin Tikis West Palm Beach: This one-of-a-kind tiki boat tour lets you enjoy the beautiful views of West Palm Beach.
  • Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center: An educational and engaging experience where you can learn about manatees and their natural habitat.
  • Peanut Island Park: A tropical island with snorkeling, camping, and picnic spots.
  • CANVAS Outdoor Museum: A unique outdoor museum showcasing large-scale, interactive artworks.
  • Airboat Rides West Palm Beach: Experience the Florida Everglades up close with an exciting airboat ride.

Diving at Blue Heron Bridge

Final Tips and Tricks

Diving at the Blue Heron Bridge offers a unique experience with its diverse marine life and easy accessibility.


Here are some FINAL TIPS AND TRICKS to ensure a safe diving adventure:

  • Timing is Crucial: The best time for diving is half an hour before or after slack high tide when clear water from the Atlantic Ocean flows in.
  • Navigation: The park lines up nicely along a north-south axis, with the snorkel trail heading along an east-west axis. This simple layout makes navigation easier.
  • Dive Flag: Always carry a dive flag and stay within the bounds of the site as boats frequent the surrounding area.
  • Swim Area: Avoid descending in the swim area, which is demarcated by red buoys.
  • Exploration: Be adventurous in seeking out critters such as octopuses hiding in the muck. You never know what you’ll see at the Blue Heron Bridge!
  • Float Along the Snorkel Trail: Enter the water between 60 and 90 minutes before high tide and float along the snorkel trail sandwiched between the swim area and the boat channel.
  • Walking Down the Shore: Consider entering the water about 30 – 45 minutes before high tide, then walk down the shore to the east along the beach until the shoreline starts to turn.



It’s a wrap for this blog post!


We hope you have a clear idea now of what to expect from diving at the Blue Heron Bridge in Florida!


Let us know about your experience in the comments! We love reading them.


Keep Planning Your Trip To The US



Where is the Blue Heron Bridge

Blue Heron Bridge is located in Phil Foster Park at 900 East Blue Heron Boulevard, Riviera Beach, Florida, USA.


Can you overnight at Blue Heron Bridge

There are numerous accommodations available near the Blue Heron Bridge for those planning a visit. Here are some options based on various online sources: La Quinta Inn by Wyndham West Palm Beach – Florida Turnpike – A budget-friendly option with basic amenities. Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina – This resort offers a golf course, marina, and beach access. Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa – A luxury resort with oceanfront views and a spa. Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa – Another luxury option featuring a spa. The Atlantic Suites on the Ave – An option for those looking for suite accommodations.


Do open-water checkout dives on Blue Heron Bridge

Yes, Blue Heron Bridge is a renowned spot for diving due to its clear waters and diverse marine life. It’s a popular location for both snorkeling and scuba diving.


How deep is the blue heron bridge

The exact depth of the water under the Blue Heron Bridge is not specified. However, it is a popular site for diving, suggesting that the water is sufficiently deep for such activities.


How far from Disney is blue heron bridge

The distance between Walt Disney World and Blue Heron Bridge seems to be quite significant. Although the exact distance isn’t specified in the search results, one source mentions that it is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Orlando to Blue Heron Bridge. Considering average driving speed, this suggests a rough distance of approximately 150 miles.


How high is the blue heron bridge

The Blue Heron Bridge, also known as SR A1A Bridge, has a vertical clearance of 65 feet when it’s closed. It’s worth noting that the actual clearance at high tide may be lower.


How tall is the blue heron bridge

The Blue Heron Bridge, also known as SR A1A Bridge, has a vertical clearance of 65 feet when it’s closed. It’s worth noting that the actual clearance at high tide may be lower.


How to Dive Blue Heron Bridge

Blue Heron Bridge is a popular spot for diving. As with any dive, you should ensure you’re adequately trained, and equipped, and follow safety guidelines. It’s recommended to check local tide times for the best visibility


Is Blue Heron Bridge a sanctuary

While the Blue Heron Bridge area is considered a “No-Take Zone” for tropical fish and shell collecting, spearfishing, or lobster harvesting, it is not officially classified as a sanctuary. However, the area under the bridge is being reviewed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissioners for potential classification as a protected area.


The Blue Heron Bridge is renowned for its diverse marine life, including octopuses, seahorses, cuttlefish, angelfish, and more. It is a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling, and the structure of the bridge itself provides a refuge for many species.

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Laura & Alexander

Laura & Alexander

We're two full-time Belgian travellers sharing our experience through our blog. Our aim is to inspire your next travel adventure with our best tips and tricks from every country we visit.

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