Scuba Diving Photos
United States of Scuba: Diving the Country We Love
Manatee at Kings Bay, Florida
From sea to shining sea, manatees are just one reason Scuba Diving magazine loves diving in the U.S.A.
Blue Heron Bridge
Hauling over the freeway from West Palm to Riviera Beach, Florida, few would guess what lies beneath. The worlds under the bridge’s east and west sides are a muck paradise, offering sightings of exotics like batfish, flying gurnards and frogfish. (Keep one eye on the channel for sharks and eagle rays.) Phil Foster Park, on an island right under the bridge, offers plenty of parking, bathrooms and pavilioned grills — it’s a great place to meet other divers, who are found here pretty much every day of the year.
Cuddle up to a manatee — it’s up to the animal how close it comes — and you might not believe these tubby sweethearts of the springs inspired mermaid legends. Diving with them is uncommon, but many operators offer snorkeling — and you very nearly can’t avoid “sea cows” off Florida’s south-west coast, where they head when ocean temps rise in late spring.
The Great Lakes
The clean, cold fresh water of the world’s largest lake system has begotten an unprecedented cache of well-preserved shipwrecks — and arguably the most pristine wooden wrecks on the planet — not to mention some of the hardiest divers in our tribe. Hundreds of divable sites in all of the five lakes have kept local and visiting wreck hounds captivated for decades at hot spots such as Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve and Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve.
The forces that created America’s tropical Pacific paradise also formed some of the most compelling structures in any ocean — arches, tunnels, caverns and canyons. The glorious First and Second Cathedral of Lanai to the dramatic Kaloko Arches of the Big Island, the Pu’u Mu lava tubes of Ni’ihau and Maui’s Molokini Crater — there’s a playground of frozen lava below the surface of Hawaii.
Nothing loosens the tongue like a cold one — setting up divers for their second-favorite post-dive activity: spinning yarns. From the Marlin Club on Catalina Island to Sharkey’s Pub and Galley in Key Largo, Waikiki’s Hideaway Bar to Harpoon Larry’s in Hampton, Virginia, America’s salty dive bars give our tribe a place to let it all hang out.
Next Page: National Parks, Florida Keys and More