Skip to main content
x

Top 100 2015: Best Beginner Diving

By Brooke Morton | Authored On January 22, 2015
Share This Article :

Top 100 2015: Best Beginner Diving

For the 22nd year in a row, our readers weighed in on their favorite dive sites around the world — from North America to the Caribbean and Atlantic to the Pacific and Indian Oceans — to bring our 2015 Top 100 Reader's Choice Awards to life.

For variety, we have selected one destination in each region (Caribbean and Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and North America) to write about. Not all selections are the first-place winners in the Best Beginner Diving category.

Here's a complete list of Top 100 Readers Choice winners in this category:

BEST BEGINNER DIVING NORTH AMERICA

1. Florida

2. California

3. Washington

4. Great Lakes

5. New York/New Jersey

BEST BEGINNER DIVING CARIBBEAN AND ATLANTIC

1. Bonaire

2. Bay Islands

3. Curaçao

4. U.S. Virgin Islands

5. Cayman Islands

BEST BEGINNER DIVING PACIFIC AND INDIAN OCEANS

1. Guam

2. Hawaii

3. Indonesia

4. Red Sea

5. Australia

Thousands of subscribers and Web users rated their experiences at dive destinations in a variety of categories on a scale of one to five. Final scores are an average of the numerical scores awarded. A minumum number of responses was required for a destination to be included in these ratings.

scuba diving australia
Michael Patrick O'Neill/Photoshot

The Great Barrier Reef is an easy bucket-list get because its conditions don’t present difficulty: It lacks rough currents and cold temperatures. Instead, it’s a string of ribbon reefs with walls that tend to slope gently and start at shallow depths. The bommies — what Aussies call pinnacles — reach just below the surface, so you can pick your depth limit. All creatures great and small are here — from whimsical clownfish to potato cod the size of ponies. (And there’s more to aim for here, from the sea lions of South Australia’s Hopkins Island to seahorses of Victoria.)
GO NOW:/australia

scuba diving australia
Rodger Klein, Getty Images

The Great Barrier Reef is an easy bucket-list get because its conditions don’t present difficulty: It lacks rough currents and cold temperatures. Instead, it’s a string of ribbon reefs with walls that tend to slope gently and start at shallow depths. The bommies — what Aussies call pinnacles — reach just below the surface, so you can pick your depth limit. All creatures great and small are here — from whimsical clownfish to potato cod the size of ponies. (And there’s more to aim for here, from the sea lions of South Australia’s Hopkins Island to seahorses of Victoria.)
GO NOW:/australia

scuba diving australia
Alex Mustard/Naturepl.com

The Great Barrier Reef is an easy bucket-list get because its conditions don’t present difficulty: It lacks rough currents and cold temperatures. Instead, it’s a string of ribbon reefs with walls that tend to slope gently and start at shallow depths. The bommies — what Aussies call pinnacles — reach just below the surface, so you can pick your depth limit. All creatures great and small are here— from whimsical clownfish to potato cod the size of ponies. (And there’s more to aim for here, from the sea lions of South Australia’s Hopkins Island to seahorses of Victoria.)
GO NOW:/australia

scuba diving florida
Wayne MacWilliams

Where can a beginner encounter goliath grouper the size of Volkswagen Beetles on beautiful shallow reefs? Along virtually all of Florida’s many miles of coast — east, west and Keys. For newbies not ready for open ocean, the state’s myriad springs offer an easy entry, along with the chance of snorkeling with manatees.
GO NOW:/florida

scuba diving curacao
Barry Brown

“Bon bini,” they say, and welcome you’ll feel on this warm, colorful island. With clear water — did we mention warm? — generally calm conditions, and dive sites that are a short boat ride or even shorter swim from shore, these fringing reefs are a perfect place to practice new skills.
GO NOW: /curacao

scuba diving curacao
Barry Brown

“Bon bini,” they say, and welcome you’ll feel on this warm, colorful island. With clear water — did we mention warm? — generally calm conditions, and dive sites that are a short boat ride or even shorter swim from shore, these fringing reefs are a perfect place to practice new skills.
GO NOW: /curacao

For the 22nd year in a row, our readers weighed in on their favorite dive sites around the world — from North America to the Caribbean and Atlantic to the Pacific and Indian Oceans — to bring our 2015 Top 100 Reader's Choice Awards to life.

For variety, we have selected one destination in each region (Caribbean and Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and North America) to write about. Not all selections are the first-place winners in the Best Beginner Diving category.

Here's a complete list of Top 100 Readers Choice winners in this category:

BEST BEGINNER DIVING NORTH AMERICA

1. Florida

2. California

3. Washington

4. Great Lakes

5. New York/New Jersey

BEST BEGINNER DIVING CARIBBEAN AND ATLANTIC

1. Bonaire

2. Bay Islands

3. Curaçao

4. U.S. Virgin Islands

5. Cayman Islands

BEST BEGINNER DIVING PACIFIC AND INDIAN OCEANS

1. Guam

2. Hawaii

3. Indonesia

4. Red Sea

5. Australia

Thousands of subscribers and Web users rated their experiences at dive destinations in a variety of categories on a scale of one to five. Final scores are an average of the numerical scores awarded. A minumum number of responses was required for a destination to be included in these ratings.