The only thing more inspiring than an art museum is probably an art museum that’s saving the environment. That’s exactly what Florida’s new Underwater Museum of Art does. There’s only one thing… it’s literally underwater, located 0.7 miles offshore and 50-60 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
Its purpose is just as much about displaying art as it is about “providing a source of biological replenishment and protective marine habitat.” The underwater sculptures double as artificial reefs that create a place where underwater creatures can live. Before, most of the water in the area was considered to be “barren sand flats”, where nothing can really live. Within an hour of placing the seven original sculptures in the water, though, schools of fish were swimming among them. The plan is to add more pieces to the collection, and hopefully, as time goes on, more and more animals will also be attracted to the artificial, artistic reef.
Should you choose to dive to the museum, you’ll have to catch a boat out to the dive site, and then plunge below the depths to admire the sculptures… and the marine life that’s making the art their home. It’s free to visit with the paid admission to Grayton Beach State Park. They list information on chartering a boat and getting scuba certified on their website.
Here are a few more favorite unique destinations in Florida…