Are you 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 which 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 U.S.
Monterey Bay, California
Monterey Bay is one of the most popular and accessible dive sites in the US to all levels of divers. Its sheltered coves, clear water, visibility of 10 to 30 feet, and summer temperatures of 50 to 60 F make it a popular scuba diving destination.
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 splendid 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 only in Kailua Kono, Hawaii.
Pensacola is the home of beautiful beaches and one of the most extensive 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 battle stars 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 has 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 excellent 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 aquatic, 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.
It 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
Puget Sound is a must-see island and great US scuba diving destination with various attractions, cities, lodgings, and recreational activities along its beaches. The Island features Washington’s hidden beauties, aboriginal cultures, wildlife, and farming settlements. Over 75 shore-diving destinations include rocky reefs, fjords, steel, and timber wrecks an hour from Seattle. Killer whales, sea lions, huge anemones, and cold-water dwellers can be seen year-round at 50 F. Another possibility is Edmonds Underwater Park.
Bellingham is one of the top destinations to visit in the US, offering relaxation and thrill to travelers worldwide. The North Cascades and San Juan Islands’ simple outdoor activity make it a popular vacation.
Nature, outdoor activities, and breathtaking landscapes from the North Cascades National Park, Salish Sea, and Mt. Baker make it worth visiting.
In the 45-foot or 14-meter depths, you can find rockfish, wolf eels, lingcod, nudibranchs, decorators, and a mossy-head war bonnet. Seeing the gigantic Pacific octopus out of the den is also a good opportunity.
Channel Islands- California
Channel Island has some of the best diving and snorkeling in the US. The Islands are formed by tectonic forces and contain rare creatures and vegetation.
The most popular Channel Island towns are Santa Cruz and Anacapa. Santa Cruz, the largest island, has many scenic hiking paths of varying lengths and complexity. However, the Anacapa has a tiny museum, short hiking paths, and the famed cove for snorkeling, swimming, diving, and kayaking. The Island has no restaurants or shops, but you can witness hundreds of whales and dolphins, making the journey worthwhile.
Bonne Terre Mine is one of America’s top 10 greatest adventures and the world’s largest human-made caverns.
The largest freshwater home is a scuba diving venue with clean 58-degree water and 100-foot visibility.
A cinema theater, machine shop, offices, ore cars, geology lab, water fountain, shovels, and picks are here. The Bonne Terre Mine offers 24 guided dives, making it an excellent spot for adventurous divers.
Fort Lauderdale – Florida
Fort Lauderdale is one of the most visited cities in the US due to its culture, events, arts, and beaches, where 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 access to the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic Ocean, the US has several wonderful diving spots.
Each dive site has plentiful marine life and stunning characteristics, from cold to warm water.
These diving spots off Islandton are wonderful because you can walk or take a 5–20-minute boat ride from the beach. It’s your call on these amazing views.
Waiting for what? Deeply consider at least a couple bucket list destinations.
Get your tank full and head up to explore this magical underwater world with us. Who knows, we might even bump into each other while diving.
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: http://divingpicks.com/best-places-to-dive-in-the-world/