Best Dive Sites in America

NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

The MONOHANSETT, a Great Lakes’ ship wreck – November 1907

Diving is a fantastic outdoor activity that provides you with a gentle cardiovascular workout while exploring the wonders of the ocean floor – no wonder so many people are taking up diving! You do not need to travel far to find some fantastic dive sites – here is a selection of our favorite sites in America.

With its vast coastline, America offers a wealth of scuba diving opportunities. Take a trip to see some exotic ocean life. Or, if you prefer, check out some of the amazing sunken ship dives. You will create memories for a lifetime with any of these dive sites.


Some of these dives can be quite challenging, so consider getting some professional dive instructor training to become a PADI Divemaster before heading out, to ensure that you and your dive group are safe at all times.

Wall Of Life – Inian Islands, Alaska

Known as the Last Frontier, Alaska offers underwater adventure as well as beautiful landscape. On the Inian Islands, the Wall of Life is a coral patch with newly discovered species. While exploring the patch, you may also see wolf eels, sea lions and octopus.

Browning Wall – Port Hardy, British Columbia

Browning Wall offers the best temperate diving in BC. The steep vertical drop takes you down to where you can see over one hundred unique species. Take a dive and marvel at the giant octopus and white-sided dolphins. Then, search for wolf eels near their dens.

Hebe and St. Cathan – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Visit the ruins of the merchant vessel and sub chaser that collided in the 1940s. This advanced dive gives the opportunity to investigate artifacts from both vessels. You can also expect to find turtles, baitfish, amberjack, grouper and barracuda.

Pelagic Magic – Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii

This dive is three miles off Kona coast. In the Hawaiian waters, you can see deep-water comb jellies and other unusual creatures. Have you dreamed of seeing bioluminescent pyrosomes up close? This is the dive for you.

Five Caves – Makena, Maui, Hawaii

Also known as Turtle Town, the Five Caves are a series of lava tubes. Why the nickname? Come and find out for yourself. You’ll find whitetip sharks, frogfish, and a host of other exotic creatures. This dive has a maximum depth of forty feet and is excellent day or night.

Strawberry Wall – Strawberry Island, Washington

Named after the strawberry anemones, this dive is ripe with beautiful ocean flora. Find bull kelp, rockfish, plumose anemones, green sea urchins and orange slipper sea cucumbers.

Cornelia B. Windiate – Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Michigan

Technical divers can visit this wreck that was found after one hundred years of mystery. The ship disappeared in 1875 and was discovered in Lake Huron a century later. This one hundred and thirty eight foot schooner is in almost perfect condition. The masts are still upright and a spiral staircase takes you below deck.

Shark Diving – Montauk, New York

If you need some added excitement to your dive, consider shark diving in Montauk. Located twenty miles off Long Island, this dive will allow you to see blue and mako sharks – all from the safety of an aluminum cage, of course.

Sombrero Reef, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary – Marathon, Florida

A survey of American dive sites would not be complete without mentioning the Florida Keys. The Sombrero Reef has a huge, thirty foot deep coral colony. Hanging out in the reef, you’ll find angel fish, grouper and nurse shark. Have time for another dive? Nearby you’ll find famous wrecks, including USS Vandenberg, a five hundred and twenty three foot missile-tracking ship.

Whether you want plant life, creatures, or shipwrecks, you can find some great dives in America. Add these to your bucket list and start saving up for a grand diving adventure.

Photo credit: MONOHANSETT by NOAA’s National Ocean Service, CC Licence.

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