MM 83 bayside
Florida Keys, FL 33036
Another sneak-up-and-grab-you kind of entertaining museum that is chock full of everything diving. Even if you are interested in treasure, archeology, history, or scuba, the low-tech diving museum is an inexpensive and educational stop that highlights ancient and antique equipment. Anyone walking through the galleries can be heard saying, "How Did They Do That!?" Take a self-guided, "timeline of diving" tour throughout, and don't miss the wall of helmets, called the "Parade of Nations," an unparalleled collection of historic hard-hat dive helmets from around the world. Helmets from 25 nations are displayed side by side with narration as to the styles and origins. A separate gallery is dedicated to Art McKee, referred to as the father of recreational diving; he was the first underwater treasure hunter to turn his work into a tourist attraction. Galleries featuring the development of underwater lighting and communication lead into the scuba gallery, where today's divers can check out some of the earliest scuba gear. The final gallery, "Into the Abyss," features authentic deep-diving suits - some weighing up to 900 pounds, that allowed divers to work at extreme depths.
Admission $12, $6 children ages 5-12, children under five are free. Memberships only $25/year for Iron Helmet.