With their impressive kelp beds, tropical coral reefs, and towering shipwrecks, these scuba diving spots in the United States are worth a visit. Let us introduce to you the best areas for scuba dive in one of the most known countries in the world.
Who has never dreamed of being in perfect harmony with the underwater world, surrounded by rainbow-colored fish, dolphins who giggle, and sea turtles who let themselves be carried by the current? Thanks to the magic of scuba diving, humans can experience the richness of this marine world from fabulous locations in the United States.
Los Angeles, California
California has a great wealth in the eyes of diving enthusiasts. The vast forests of kelp towering to the bottom of the water are must-see when scuba diving in California. They can reach up to 45 meters and they are also home to a unique ecosystem rich in marine life. Explore a kelp forest at Avalon Underwater Park at Casino Point on Santa Catalina Island. Located off the coast of Los Angeles, this dive site will give you the best of California diving in one place. The water is calm, making it easy for divers to explore lush kelp forests, small underwater faults, and several sites with shipwrecks. Keep your eyes open and you might spot the famous flying fish and sparkling orange Garibaldi Damsels.
San Diego, California
A quieter dive site, Wreck Alley, off San Diego, houses four wrecks including a 112-meter-long HMCS Yukon ship stranded on its side. An artificial coral reef formed by wrecks attracts all kinds of marine life.
Crystal clear turquoise waters and centuries-old volcanic activity make Hawaii a unique place for scuba diving. Explore large caves and admire lava flows at Lanai Cathedrals off the coast of Maui. These natural underwater structures are extraordinary and are a favorite spot for turtles, dolphins, white tip reef sharks, and migrating whales, as well as schools of colorful fish.
Off the coast of Oahu, near Waikiki, is an iconic dive site teeming with marine life. USS YO-257 is a wrecked supply vessel that attracts green turtles, manta rays, and barracudas. The San Pedro, another wreck located nearby, allows you to admire twice as much on your diving trip.
Key Largo, Florida
In Key Largo you can enjoy in coral reefs, rocks, and wrecks that guarantee you an exceptional diving experience. The coral reefs are about 9 meters deep, which makes them accessible to diving enthusiasts of all kinds. You will also find in this area the Christ of the Abyss, an underwater bronze statue representing Christ.
Deerfield Beach, Florida
North of Miami on the Atlantic coast, the town of Deerfield Beach has three coral reefs parallel to its beach. Formed less than 2 meters deep, about 23 meters from the coast, these coral reefs are easily accessible to free diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Divers can observe soft corals, sea sponges, pufferfish, surgeonfish, and drum fish.
Scuba diving in Alaska may require more planning upstream, but the state’s clear waters have some marvelous adventures in store for you. While the waters aren’t as cold as you might think (the temperature is more or less similar to many dive sites in the Pacific Ocean), diving in cold waters requires specially designed equipment that includes an insulating dry suit. Plane wrecks and World War II wrecks make Smithy’s Cove in the town of Whittier near Anchorage, a popular dive site where it is possible to spot wolffish, redfish, anemones, and hermit crabs.
At Resurrection Bay, near the town of Seward, steep walls and proudly towering peaks form a rich underwater landscape of sea suns, feathery anemones, sharks, lion’s mane jellyfish, seals, and otters.
Coki Beach, US Virgin Islands
Warm turquoise waters welcome you to the US Virgin Islands. The dive sites in this little corner of the Caribbean are a true paradise of marine life, and with favorable weather throughout the year, you will enjoy your dive in any season.
Coki Beach, next to Coral World Ocean Park on St. Thomas, offers you a sporty scuba diving experience. Its waters, of a temperature and color worthy of a swimming pool, shelter two fringing reefs located 45 meters from the coast and overflowing with life. Among the stars of this underwater spectacle are the golden head puppets, cleaner shrimp, rays, and sea turtles.
In the western Pacific, the island of Guam can boast of being home to pristine beaches and almost deserted dive sites. The American Tanker, in Apra Harbor, is a perfect beginner wreck dive site with a beached tank barge now turned into an artificial coral reef. This tank barge, a holdover from WWII, was likely sunk intentionally to help build the dike in this area. Take an underwater photo of the American flag located on the wreck and admire the schools of multicolored fish that flutter around the craft.