- 14 Scuba Diving Locations in the USA
- Florida Key
- Monterey Bay, California
- Kailua Kona Hawaii
- Pensacola Florida
- Flower Garden- Gulf Mexico
- Santa Catalina Island-California
- Lake Huron, Michigan
- Baranof Island, Alaska
- Puget Sound- Washington
- Bellingham Bay-Washington
- Channel Islands- California
- Bonne Terre-Missouri
- Morehead-North Carolina
- Fort Lauderdale – Florida
Wondering about scuba diving locations in the USA? There is no better way to beat the winter blues than to go on an epic scuba diving trip, but with the ocean covering 70% of the world’s surface, it might be a little daunting to choose where to go, especially in the second largest country of USA.
Here, we will cross the pond to count down the scuba diving locations in the USA. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
14 Scuba Diving Locations in the USA
Florida Key is the third largest coral reef barrier in the world; a National Marine Sanctuary protects it, you can find here over 6,000 species of marine life (different types of Jellyfish, seahorses, octopus etc)as well as those of the most impressive shipwrecks in the U.S., one of it is the USNS Hoyt S Vanderburgh which is the second-largest artificial reef in the world and former World War II-era troop transport. Also, you can visit the Christ of the Abyss, which is situated near the first Island.
The Florida key is probably a must-dive location as it is the home of the Florida Reef system, the only barrier reef in the continental US.
Monterey Bay, California
Monterey Bay is one of the most popular and accessible dive sites in the USA to all levels of diver and with its sheltered coves and clear water with visibility ranges from 10 to 30 feet and temperatures ranging from 50 to 60 F even in summer, no wonder it is considered as one of the scuba diving locations of USA.
As it is one of the richest marine habitats in California because it contains Point Lobos State Marine Conservation Area, the pristine area, particularly Bluefish Cove and Whaler’s Cover, only allows more than 30 divers per day, so it will be better if you have your online reservation first before visiting the place. Although it has a dive restriction, it will still be worth it to dive here because you can’t find those several sightings on the other California locations such as those rock cod, abalone, harbor seals, and leopard sharks.
Additionally, the place also offers you many activities underwater both day and night, such as during the day you can check the juvenile fish and shrimp, the crannies for eels and the nooks. On night dives, you can watch for hunting nudibranchs.
Kailua Kona Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands are known for their great weather, beautiful lush landscape, and of course, their water is no exception.
In fact, the place is famous for its deep-sea fishing, the night diving in Kailua Kona is truly a wonderful experience, the artificial lights illuminate massive manta rays which feed on light-seeking phytoplankton, so better try to shine your light in these beautiful large creatures flying over in drones and watching the giant creatures glide over your head is truly a wonder to behold.
Additionally, due to the islands’ remote location, you will see fish species seen nowhere else in the world but in Kailua Kono, Hawaii only.
Pensacola is the home of beautiful beaches and one of the largest artificial reefs in the world. You can see the USS Oriskany, where the ship was built after the second world war and earned a number of a battle star before being decommissioned in 1976 and purposely sunk in 2006 and now a very popular dive site.
The ship is located 22 miles of Pensacola, Florida’s coast, and more than 200 feet of water.
Additionally, you will discover this piece of America as you explore this 277-meter-long aircraft carrier.
Flower Garden- Gulf Mexico
The Flower Garden Marine Sanctuary is also known for having the western hemisphere’s healthiest coral reef system.
It is located a hundred miles from the Texas coastline. You can see a wide variety of manta rays, fish species, and the largest fish globally, which is the whale shark, several species of shark dwell here, including the sandbar and silky shark.
The sanctuary comprises three reformations, and the lush flower garden is the home of more than 20 coral species.
Additionally, some of the colorful and vibrant corals are larger than the size of a small car.
Santa Catalina Island-California
Santa Catalina Island is one of the USA’s famous dive sites; the island is famous for its picturesque views of the Pacific, snorkeling spots like the Lovers Cove, glass-bottom boats extravagant scuba diving. The place offers you plenty of beautiful things to see, such as the nice waterside restaurants and Botanical Gardens. The angel sharks’ features are swimming among the kelp, garibaldi, leopard sharks, sheepshead, and Pacific octopus.
Although you can see many sites around Santa Catalina Island, Ship Rock is the best. The underwater arrangement allows the canyons and ledges that draw the pelagic, such as sunfish and yellowtail tuna.
Moreover, since the visibility ranges from 40-100 feet and the depths range from 20 to 135 feet, the site is perfect for all dive levels.
Lake Huron, Michigan
Lake Huron is one of the popular recreational dive spots, especially in the summer months, wherein the surface water temperatures can reach over 73 F in August.
Lake Huron is the fifth largest freshwater lake globally and has the second-largest surface area, which is 23,000 square miles, and volume is 850 cubic miles or 59,600 square kilometers and 3,540 cubic km.
Additionally, here in Lake Huron, you can find some dominant fish such as the yellow perch, white perch, sea lamprey, white sucker, ruffe, white bass, smallmouth bass, and round whitefish, and walleye.
Although Lake Huron might not be the largest lake, the lake gets the Great Lakes’ longest shoreline award, which in fact, the shores have 120 lighthouses.
Baranof Island, Alaska
Baranof Island is one of the most beautiful islands in Southeastern Alaska; it is the tenth largest island in the United States and the eighth largest island in Alaska, surrounded by tiny islands. The Island is a perfect place for spending a week exploring as you can see stunning places and do exciting activities, especially if you are interested in jellyfish diving. You will be able to see different types of Jellyfish.
Although due to the temperature changes and current shifts, there is no guarantee that the presence of jellyfish will be unseasonal; in summer, you will surely see those huge groups of harmless moon jellies that will expand to the depth of 80 feet.
Puget Sound- Washington
As the term of Puget Sound is used for the body of water, there is no doubt that the place is also known as one of the must-visit the island and perfect location in the USA for scuba diving with many attractions, cities, accommodations, and recreational activities located along or nearby its shores. The Island has some of Washington’s numerous hidden gems, native cultures, abundant wildlife, and farming communities. Therere are more than 75 shore-diving sitein this area, s such as the rocky reefs, fjords, steel, and wooden wrecks just an hour from Seattle. You can also see a lot of local marine life such as killer whales, sea lions, and giant anemones, as well as those cold-water dwellers since the year-round water temperature range 50 F. Additionally, you can visit Edmonds Underwater Park.
Bellingham is consistently rated as one of the best places to visit in the country of the USA, which offers excellent relaxation and exhilaration for many travelers in the world. The place is a popular destination because of its easy access to outdoor recreation in North Cascades and the San Juan Islands.
Since the place is surrounded by abundant nature, outdoor adventure, and stunning scenery from the North Cascades National Park and the Salish Sea to Mt. Baker, it is worth visiting.
Diving here in the 45-foot or 14 meters will allow you to see some of the cold-water dwellers such as rockfish, wolf eels, lingcod, a variety of nudibranchs and decorators, and a mossy-head war bonnet. Also, you will have a good chance to spot the giant Pacific octopus out of the den.
Channel Islands- California
Channel Island is one of the best hot spots for both diving and snorkeling in the USA. Tectonic forces create the Islands, and you can found here some of the unique animals and plants that you can’t find anywhere else on Earth.
The most popular in Channel Island are Santa Cruz and Anacapa. Santa Cruz is the largest of the islands with many hiking trails with picturesque views and various degrees of length and difficulty. At the same time, the Anacapa is quite small with a small museum, short hiking trails, and the cove where is popular for snorkeling, swimming, diving, and kayaking.
Although you can’t see any restaurants or shops on the island, your trip will be worth it as you can’t only see hundreds of whales and hundreds of dolphins.
Bonne Terre Mine is one of America’s top 10 greatest adventures and the world’s largest human-made caverns.
It is the largest freshwater home, the scuba diving venue with a very clear 58-degree water illustrated above and 100 feet down visibility.
Here, you can find a movie theater, a machine shop, offices, ore cars, a geology lab, a drinking fountain and shovels, and picks.
Moreover, the Bonne Terre Mine is available to dive within 24 routes with a guide, and the place is definitely a great dive site for those who want to try something challenging and different.
Morehead is one of the perfect dive sites for scuba divers and travelers as it offers its visitors wonderful sandy beaches and a relaxing time by the waterfront.
If you are a diver interested in wrecks and sharks, this will definitely be the perfect dive spot for you, as you can see here a lot of them.
Although there are never any guarantees for sure, you would like to see raggies that will stick you and make your dive more thrilling and exciting.
Fort Lauderdale – Florida
Fort Lauderdale is one of the most visited destinations in the United States; the place is very famous because of its culture, events, arts, and of course, beaches, wherein many divers go.
Definitely, everything you need or want to see for a great beach vacation is here in Fort Lauderdale.
The more good thing is you can easily access all restaurants, hotels, and glamorous shopping without the Miami traffic.
Additionally, Florida is well-rounded, with a variety of artificial and natural reefs as well as shipwrecks.
With abundant access to the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean, the United States has plenty of great diving locations in their country.
From its cold-water to the sea’s warm water, each of these dive sites has its own abundant marine life and beautiful features.
The best thing about these dive spots is that they are right off the Islandton; either walk straight from the beach or at least take a short 5 to 20 minutes boat ride. Well, it’s all up to you on these spectacular sights.
So, what are you waiting for? Get deep and choose at least a few of the locations you should make onto your bucket list.
Make sure not to forget to get your tank filled and head up to explore and discover some of the awesome things in this magical underwater world around with us, and who knows, we might even bump into each other at some point while diving underwater.
Have you been to all of these dive spots, or still missing out on some of these best parts of the ocean?
For more diving spots, check: https://divingpicks.com/best-places-to-dive-in-the-world/