Plunging into the depths of the sea at least once, you will forever fall in love with this world. It is impossible to resist the call of the sea, and the variety of resorts only encourages travel.
The states of America are rightfully considered an awesome place for diving. Every type of diver will find the perfect adventure here: one can dive in the cold waters of Alaska and the majestic lagoon forests of the West Coast, while others can delve into the deep wrecks of the east coast.
Today we’ll talk about what to consider when preparing to drive-and-dive road trips, and also name the best places in the USA for diving.
Planning your drive-and-dive trip
Whether you want to go on a weekend with your family and dive just a couple of times, or plan to stay three weeks and dive every day, planning is a basic thing to consider.
So what do you need to take care of before traveling?
#1. Estimate approximate weather conditions
Divers have to be flexible as sometimes the weather changes completely unexpectedly. You can plan a trip, but in two days a huge hurricane will start, which can ruin everything. But even if you are convinced that the weather will be great, you need to prepare a plan B anyway.
#2. Rent a car or insure a personal one
Usually, equipment for recreational diving doesn’t take up much space and will fit into an ordinary car. But for commercial or technical diving, you may need a whole heap of everything: expansion joints, lifts, clothing, accessories for underwater communications, perhaps even boats to plunge under the water from the middle of the sea. This will require a real SUV.
#3. Ask local for information
After choosing a destination or series of stops, visit local dive shops. Local managers or buyers can help plan your trip by providing information on scheduled dives, local guides, equipment rentals, and repairs.
Always keep the phone numbers of these stores. This allows travelers to contact them at any time to inquire about equipment repairs or to ask the store to stay open for an extra five minutes if travelers arrive in town just before closing and need an oxygen fill for an early morning dive.
#4. Explore accommodation options
Travelers looking to drive can book a hotel at their base or several campsites along their route. Also, see what attractions you can visit to fill up the time between dives.
#5. Make sure to pack a first aid kit and find local hospitals
Diving is unpredictable. Of course, there should be no problems with good equipment, but in any case, the risk of injury on coral or glass on the shore is very high. Prepare well.
4 best places for diving in the USA
Visit Mackinaw City which is less than eight hours from Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Toronto. Here you will truly stumble upon an adventure. Historic shipwrecks on Lakes Huron and Michigan don’t leave tourists indifferent.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Behind the boardwalk of this beach town, at a depth of 33 meters, there is the sunken Dutch merchant ship, which has become home to many interesting fish: sea bass, amberjack, barracuda, and many others. Sand tigers can be seen in autumn and winter.
A mandatory spot for everyone is the USS Spiegel Grove, a landing ship accessible from Key Largo. But another wreck worth a pit stop is the USCG Dwayne diving from Key Largo, Tavernier, or Islamorada. The 100-meter wreck is notable for its coral growth and large marine life, namely the barracuda, grouper, and the unusual bull shark.
Biscayne Maritime Heritage Trail. There is no better place in Florida for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts than Biscayne National Park. You can spend more than one day here exploring six wrecks. Many of them are in clear water and are very visible even at shallow depths.
Molasses reef. Perhaps the most popular reef in the state is Molasses Reef. Here you can take the perfect shallow dive and see live coral without much underwater experience. And since it is right next to John Pennekamp Park, it is a certification dive site of choice for many South Florida locals.
Blue grotto. This is probably the steepest grotto you will ever see. The cave is located in the heart of Florida and boasts some of the cleanest waters in the state. It is covered in fossils and filled with pristine underwater rocks.
Copenhagen wreck. Not far from the coast of Pompano Beach there is a massive rock outcropping. The crew of the steamboat Copenhagen, which transported coal to Havana in 1900, went through a difficult journey and eventually ran aground. The water here is so clear that you can see its fragments.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Sand Harbor on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe is the easiest option for divers. This place is home to salmon, trout, crustaceans, and thick shoals of minnows. Keep in mind that this is high-altitude diving, as Lake Tahoe is almost 2000 meters above sea level.
Diving tourism has already conquered the entire globe. Divers consider the West Indies to be a particularly beautiful place. Here you can find a huge number of shipwrecks. But there are so many places in the States as well that even a month is not enough to visit them all
So get ready and go on adventurous travel right away!
In case you need to conduct a PCR or Antigen test prior to your flight back home, make sure to plan accordingly with enough time in advance