Are you as scuba diving aficionado? You certainly want to dive in the best spots, right? Well, here’s a list of the best places to scuba dive in the US.
Are you looking to take a scuba diving vacation soon? If so, you’re probably wondering where to go. Luckily, if you’re living in the US, you don’t have to go far.
From Hawaii to Florida, there are great places all over the US to go scuba diving. Check out this guide to learn about the best places to scuba dive in the US.
1. Kona, Hawaii
If you’re looking for an excuse to book a trip to Hawaii, here it is.
Hawaii is truly one of the best places to go scuba diving in the entire world. All of the islands are ringed with reefs and wildlife, so it’s pretty hard to not go scuba diving when visiting this state.
One of the best places to go diving in the state is the Kona Coast. Here you’ll find bioluminescent creatures like sea lions, manta rays, and turtles. If you dive at night, you can see jellyfish and zooplankton that literally light up the sea.
Also, if you visit the island from December to May, you may have the chance to see humpback whales.
Just make sure you have the right scuba mask to see the reefs and ocean life. You can read more here about the best masks for scuba diving.
2. Monterey Bay, California
While you can find a lot of great diving along the California coastline, one of the best places to dive in Monterey Bay.
Inside Monterey Bay is Point Lobos State Marine Conservation Area, which is one of the richest marine habitats in all of California. This is a pristine area that allows no more than 30 dives per day, so make sure you make reservations online far in advance.
Luckily, this dive restriction results in a beautiful site where you can see abalone, harbor seals, leopard sharks, and rock cod. And, within the nooks and crannies of rocks, you can also find shrimp, eels, and juvenile fish.
Diving is good here year-round, just remember that the temperatures in the Pacific are much cooler- between 50 to 60 degrees.
3. Santa Catalina Island, California
If you’re diving in Monterey Bay, you might as well head on over to Santa Catalina as well.
While there are several sites to dive around Santa Catalina Island, Ship Rock is one of the best. Two miles off the island’s coast, you’ll find yourself diving amongst octopus, sheepshead, leopard shark, yellowfish tuna, sunfish, and angel sharks.
4. Channel Islands, California
The Channel Islands is actually a national park that’s composed of Anacapa, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel.
This area has excellent bio-diversity and is known for having clear visibility year-round. In fact, many dive shops cater their services specifically to underwater photographers because of how clear the water is.
At the Channel Islands, you’ll find sea lions, manta rays, giant sea bass, harbor seals, and even some small wrecks.
5. The Florida Keys
If you’re looking to dive on the east coast, the Florida Keys is the place to go.
Here you’ll find everything from reefs to wrecks to larger sea creatures. In fact, there’s an area known as Shipwreck Trail that houses a range of famous wrecks.
6. Southeast Florida
After diving into the Florida Keys, you should also head to Southeast Florida.
This region of the US offers one of the largest continuous reefs in the West Atlantic, with 23 miles of reef running from Miami to Fort Lauderdale.
This area offers warm, clear water and both reef and wreck diving.
If you come from May to September, you may get the chance to experience dozens of turtles riding the current with you.
7. Bonne Terre, Missouri
When people think of Missouri, they often don’t think of scuba diving. But, Missouri offers some of the most unique scuba diving in the whole country.
If you’ve had your fill of fish and sea creatures, then head to the Bonne Terre Mine, which is an hour south of Saint Louis.
This mine was once used to extract lead to make ammunition. However, after mining efforts were abandoned here, the area flooded with fresh water. Today, you can dive one of the mine’s 24 routes with a divemaster.
In the cave, you’ll find artifacts left behind from mining days such as ore cars and shovels. You’ll even be able to spot a movie theater, a drinking fountain, offices, and a geology lab.
If you have any non-divers with you, they can take a boat tour along the coastline.
8. Baranof Island, Alaska
Alaska is known for its majestic land wildlife, but its sea wildlife is definitely worth checking out as well.
One of the best places to go scuba diving in Alaska is off of Baranof Island. If you dive here during the summer, you’ll be able to see massive colonies of moon jellyfish.
The great thing about this species of jellyfish is that they’re completely harmless, so there’s no need to worry about getting stung.
9. Denver, Colorado, Downtown Aquarium
Diving inside an aquarium may sound kind of lame, but hear us out on this one.
At the Denver Aquarium, you can hop inside a 400,000-gallon tank and dive with zebra sharks, tiger sharks, guitarfish, and sawfish.
If you’ve always wanted to dive with sharks but have been too scared to do it in the ocean, this is the place to go. You’ll be in a controlled environment with a trained professional, and you don’t even need any diving experience to dive here.
In fact, children as young as 6 years old can experience this dive as long as they’re able to swim.
10. Morehead, North Carolina
Last but not least, we have Morehead, North Carolina.
If you’re looking for some great wreck diving and shark diving, Morehead is the place to go.
While there aren’t any guarantees, you’re likely to see anywhere from 5 to 20 sand tiger sharks per dive. These sharks usually congregate around a sunken US Coast Guard vessel- a wreck that’s worth exploring on its own.
Best Places to Scuba Dive in the US: Are You Ready to Dive?
As you can see, there are a lot of amazing places to scuba dive in the US. And, now that you’ve read this list of the best places to scuba dive in the US, it’s time to pack your bags and head out there!
Also, be sure to check back in with our blog for more travel tips and tricks.