10 Best Scuba Diving Destinations in the USA
There are many popular scuba diving destinations in the USA, from the crystal clear waters of California to the deep depths of Florida. Each destination offers something unique and a special experience that no other dive spot can replicate. Whether it be swimming with giant manta rays or exploring sunken shipwrecks, here is a comprehensive list of some of America’s best scuba diving destinations!
Monterey Bay, California
The Monterey Bay is one of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the United States. The underwater landscape is a rich ecosystem of kelp forests, rocky reefs and deep canyons.
The bay itself is home to over 300 species of fish and more than 30 types of whales, dolphins and porpoises. There are shipwrecks that date back to the early 1800s as well as historic fortifications from World War II.
The area is also home to several marine sanctuaries that protect hundreds of species of marine life including sea otters, harbor seals, elephant seals and sea lions. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is also located in this area and offers visitors an educational experience that highlights local marine life as well as their conservation efforts.
Santa Catalina Island, California
Scuba diving in Santa Catalina Island is a popular activity for locals and tourists alike. With clear waters and plenty of marine life to see, it’s easy to see why this place is so popular.
The best place to go scuba diving in Santa Catalina Island is Casino Point. It is located at the north end of town, where you can find a wide variety of fish including kelp bass, sheephead, bat rays, octopus and sea lions. You will also find seals at this location.
If you are looking for something with a bit more depth, then consider visiting the Casino Point Wall dive site. There are many types of fish here including yellowtail rockfish, kelp bass, white seabass as well as lobsters and squid. You may even spot a sea lion or two!
Channel Islands, California
The Channel Islands are some of the most beautiful and diverse diving spots in the world. One of the best locations to dive in California is Santa Cruz Island, which is home to an abundance of marine life such as giant manta rays, bat rays, and leopard sharks. The island has two main dive sites: Scorpion Reef and El Capitan. Scorpion Reef is a great place to see eagle rays, moray eels, and green sea turtles. El Capitan offers a variety of dives including wreck and reef dives.
The island’s waters are also home to many types of fish including white sea bass, barred sand bass, yellowtail rockfish, sheephead rockfish, opaleye white seabass and yellowfin croaker.
The southeastern part of Florida is a great place for scuba diving. It’s got a lot of underwater life and has many different types of fish that you can see. The water is warm, so it’s easy to go in the winter or fall.
The best place to go scuba diving in this area is at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It’s a great place because it has an artificial reef that attracts all kinds of marine life and gives divers something to look at while they’re down there. You can also snorkel here if you don’t want to dive into the water.
This park also has a boat tour that takes you around the area so you can see all the different parts of the reef system, which is pretty cool!
The Florida Keys are a place of wonder, with their pristine waters, beautiful coral reefs and vibrant marine life. This is a great place to explore by boat or scuba diving.
The Florida Keys are located right off the shore of south Florida. They are a chain of islands between Miami and Key West, stretching over 100 miles down the coast of Florida. The Keys have been home to humans for centuries, from Native Americans to Spanish explorers and settlers. Today, they are known as an area of natural beauty with some of the best scuba diving in the world!
There are many different types of fish that call this area home, including grouper, amberjack, snapper and codfish. The coral reefs here are also home to many different species like sea turtles, octopus and starfish!
Morehead, North Carolina
Morehead, North Carolina is a small town located in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina. It is one of the best places to get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of nature, especially if you’re into scuba diving.
The Morehead City Scuba Center is probably one of the best scuba diving schools in the area and has been training people since 2004. Here, you can learn how to dive without having to go through all the hassle of getting certified. This means that all you have to do is show up, sign some paperwork and start swimming with sea life!
As far as scuba diving destinations go, Morehead City is pretty much unbeatable. You’ll be able to swim alongside dolphins and whales, see thousands of different species of fish and other creatures such as turtles or sharks (if you’re lucky). The ocean floor here is teeming with life, so no matter how many times you come back here for another adventure, there will always be something new for you to discover!
Bonne Terre, Missouri
If you’re looking for an adventure, you won’t find a better place than Bonne Terre, Missouri.
Bonne Terre is known for its caves and underground rivers, but what many people don’t know is that it’s also home to some of the best scuba diving in the world.
The water is crystal clear and absolutely breathtaking. The wildlife is abundant and diverse, you never know who or what you’ll see when you dive there!
If you want to go on a whale watching trip, you can do that here as well. And if you’re feeling adventurous enough (or just like a challenge), try your hand at cave diving, it’s not easy! But if anyone can do it, it’s you!
Flower Garden Banks, Texas
Flower Garden Banks is a group of coral reefs located in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s about 90 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas, and is part of the marine sanctuary system.
The Flower Garden Banks was declared a national monument in 1967 and has been a protected area since 1999. It’s also one of the most popular diving destinations in the United States.
The site is well-known for its variety of coral species, including staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis), elkhorns (Acropora palmata), and boulder stars (Montastraea cavernosa). In addition to being home to these beautiful organisms, it’s also home to many other types of fish and invertebrates that call the Flower Garden Banks their home.
The Bellingham, Washington area is the perfect place to go scuba diving. The cold waters of the Pacific Northwest are home to a number of marine life and beautiful seascapes, and there’s no better way to explore them than by diving in and getting a first-hand look at what’s beneath you.
If you’re looking for a place to stay while you’re in Bellingham, we recommend checking out the Waterfront Inn. The Inn has been around since 1910 and has an amazing view of Bellingham Bay and Mount Baker. They also have some great specials on their website right now if you want a deal on your stay!
The best time of year to go scuba diving in Bellingham is between April and October, when the water is warm enough to dive without having to wear a wet suit. The average temperature during this period is 57 degrees Fahrenheit (14 Celsius), which makes it both comfortable for divers and great for wildlife viewing as well!
Puget Sound, Washington
Puget Sound is a region that is rich in history and culture, and that’s why it’s one of the best scuba diving destinations in the United States.
Located in Washington state, Puget Sound is a body of water that connects the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Pacific Ocean. It’s home to many islands and peninsulas, which gives it an incredibly diverse ecosystem.
The water temperature ranges from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months (December through February), but it can drop down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the summertime (June through August). The average visibility for Puget Sound is about 60 feet, making it one of the clearest bodies of water on Earth!
Baranof Island, Alaska
The stunning beauty of Baranof Island, Alaska is hard to capture with words. It’s one of those places that you have to see for yourself. It’s the perfect place for a scuba diving vacation, because it’s so picturesque and beautiful that it almost feels like a dream.
You’ll have a hard time believing that this place is real, but it is! And what’s more, it’s just as breathtaking as you’ve imagined it would be. You can see whales swimming in the distance, seals lounging on rocks and sea otters playing in the waves. This island is truly an underwater wonderland.
Lake Huron, Michigan
The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world by surface area and they are home to some of the best scuba diving in America. Lake Huron, which is located in the midwestern United States, is one of these lakes.
Lake Huron is one of five Great Lakes that make up a chain of lakes along the United States-Canada border. The lake has an area of more than 58,000 square miles and it stretches over 750 miles from west to east. It is connected to Lake Michigan by the Straits of Mackinac and it drains into Lake Erie at its northeast end.
The water temperature varies depending on where you dive but it generally ranges from 39°F (4°C) to 41°F (5°C). This means that you should wear a wetsuit when diving here. You can also take advantage of this water temperature by snorkeling during warmer months or even swimming if it’s not too cold for you!
The visibility underwater can get as high as 80 feet (24 meters), but it usually averages around 50 feet (15 meters).
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best place to scuba dive in the United States?
It depends on what you’re looking for! If you love sharks and want to see them up close, then there’s no better place than Hawaii. But if you’re more interested in pristine reefs and colorful fish, then you might want to try Florida or South Carolina instead.
Where is the cheapest place to dive?
It depends on where you live—in some areas of California, it can be as cheap as $50 per day! But if you’re not lucky enough to live near any of those areas, then we recommend checking out our list of recommended locations by state.
Can you scuba dive in the United States?
Absolutely! Just make sure that wherever you go has been approved by your local government as a safe place to dive; most states have a department dedicated solely to monitoring water quality and ensuring that all recreational divers are safe.
How much does it cost to get scuba certified in USA?
That also depends on where you live—and whether or not your state requires a license to dive. Most states require a basic certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), which usually costs around $200 and takes about two days to complete. If you want to get certified at an official scuba diving school, it’ll probably be closer to $500 or more—but we think it’s worth it!
In conclusion, the USA is an excellent location for scuba diving. With its diverse and stunning landscapes, wide range of activities to explore underwater and many nearby beach resorts, it offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing family vacation or an exhilarating adventure over a few days – there’s no better spot in the world than America
! Enjoy your exploration of the exciting depths below sea level!