From peaceful, shallow reefs to bustling underwater cities teeming with sea life, the U.S. is home to a variety of spectacular scuba diving destinations for divers to explore the ocean’s depths and discover the wonders beneath its surface.
And it’s not just the sea life that will delight you in these destinations; the hotels, restaurants, and nightlife in many top U.S. scuba destinations are second to none. If you’re unsure where to start, here are the top six places to scuba dive in the U.S.
Oahu is a well-known destination with a plethora of world-famous scuba diving sites. The island boasts crystal clear waters, an abundance of marine life, and a wide variety of dive sites to suit all levels of experience.
Famously known as ‘The Wreck Capital of Hawaii, Oahu also offers visitors an opportunity to explore wrecks that are not as popular with tourists. The site has about ten wrecks, including the famous Corsair Wreck, YO-257, and San Pedro, which are now homes to sea turtles, eagle rays, and other marine life.
If you are a shark fan, you can head to Oahu’s North Shore and enjoy shark cage diving, which allows you to get up close with different types of sharks in their natural habitat.
Cape May, New Jersey
If you are looking for a truly unique diving experience for your upcoming luxury holiday, there is no better place to visit than Cape May. Nestled on the southernmost tip of New Jersey, this destination offers excellent opportunities for wreck diving and underwater fishing expeditions.
Some of the most famous dive sites in Cape May include the Absecon Inlet, the Allenhurst Jetty, and the Manasquan Wreck, which offer thrilling aquatic adventures.
Besides wreck diving, you can also experience Cape May, NJ, in other thrilling ways, such as shopping in the quaint shops in the town or spending some time at any of the many luxury resorts nearby.
Puget Sound, Washington
Located just one hour outside Seattle in Washington, Puget Sound is home to many beautiful dive sites and pristine coral reefs. Some of the most iconic spots on Puget Sound include Rich Passage and Jetty Island, which divers from all corners of the world frequent.
The Puget Sound is home to iconic marine life, including wolf eels, the giant pacific octopus, and small spiny lumpsucker fish. You can also spot a wide variety of whales and dolphins on your dives here.
Temperatures at most Puget Sound dive sites are low, so it’s recommended that you bring a dry suit, gloves, and a hat. If you don’t have the right diving gear, be sure to get some from the many dive shops in the area.
Channel Islands National Park, California
With over 800 types of plants and animals, the Channel Islands National Park is the ultimate scuba diver’s paradise. It is located off the coast of California and comprises five islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara.
The sheer variety of marine life in Channel Islands National Park means there is something for everyone, from beginners to experienced divers. Divers may swim along beautiful rocky cliffs and caves or dip through submarine forests full of kelp and sea life.
While on your adventures, you’ll find sea lions, octopuses, rays, lobsters, and other exotic creatures lurking in every corner. If you are lucky, you’ll be able to spot the world’s biggest animal, the Blue Whale.
Morehead, North Carolina
Morehead is another city in the U.S. famous for its beautiful beaches and exceptional scuba diving opportunities. The city offers a variety of dive sites to choose from, including the USS Tarpon wreck, which is rife with sand tiger sharks.
Once in a while, divers can meet up to 20 sand tigers at different dive sites. For an even better experience at Morehead’s dive sites, charter a boat from the local dive shops or join a day trip tour from nearby resorts.
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