82990 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036
Overall Score: B
Cost: B ($12 adult/ $6 kids 5-11/ under 5 free)
Fun Potential: C
Along the Overseas Highway in Islamorada is a painted warehouse-like building, covered in colorful images of undersea life. This building, the History of Diving Museum, is a delightful museum for anyone curious about the history of underwater diving.
As a child, I was terribly afraid of these deep sea diver suits. They were on display at the entrance of a restaurant my family frequented. They seemed so huge and intimidating. As an adult, they are still pretty alarming and creepy. This educational museum has a lot of these dive suits and artifacts, and I was amazed at the quality of the displays.
What was most interesting to me were the original diving concepts. Old drawings, old ideas, and original dive suits astounded me. It made me wonder how many people died during the early days of diving, when little was known or tested. See the photos below. (Click on the image for a larger look.)
Because it is a museum, I only gave it a C for ‘fun potential.’ Young children and people uninterested in diving are not going to enjoy this place. I am a certified PADI scuba diver and I found the museum fascinating. Then again, I love learning about science.
Once you walk through the exhibit area, there is a small gift shop that has anything and everything related to diving. Don’t forget to take your picture as the deep sea diver like I did. Although the hood doesn’t completely sit on your head, you can imagine the weight and pressure that divers felt.
Give yourself approximately 1-2 hours in the museum, or more for real die-hard history/diving fans.
If you have a rainy day, cold day, or you just want a day away from the beach, stop by the History of Diving Museum in Islamorada. It’s a recommended and fun place to visit.