As the world's third-largest country, the United States of America is home to a plethora of awe-inspiring tourist attractions: the Big Apple, the Grand Canyon, Vegas, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Niagra Falls and more. Yet, when it comes to diving, the USA often gets overlooked. As a vast country flanked by the Atlantic on one side and the mighty Pacific on the other, planning a trip to explore the USA can leave you feeling like there's too much to see and not enough time, yet for divers, there are fewer choices. Few choices do not translate to bad choices though; the best diving in the USA offers chances to enjoy mantas, manatees, wrecks and reef sharks alongside a whole host of funky macro critters...
The volcanic island group that makes up the state of Hawaii, while famed for its surfing, is also home to some of the best diving in the USA. Among the highlights for divers visiting the Aloha State include manta ray night dives in Kona, exciting drifts at Molokini, blackwater night dives, and scanning the deep blue for oceanic whitetips and hammerheads at the Big Island's Au Au Crater.
With impressive Jurassic Park-esque scenery above the surface, epic surfing and stunning beaches to enjoy when not diving, Hawaii is a top-drawer destination with superb diving to boot. Below the waves, volcanic craters and lava tubes form the backdrop for the epic marine life, which includes sharks, turtles, dolphins and manta rays. Island-hopping through the archipelago allows you to sample some of the best diving in the USA. The gamble isn't whether or not you will enjoy the diving; it's whether or not you trust yourself to make a stop in Vegas on the way home…
A stone's throw from the Bahamas, the string of small islands stretching from the Everglades National Park down towards Cuba are the ideal location for an island-hopping drive-and-dive holiday. From Key Largo to Key West, the Florida Keys sweep down from the south-eastern coast of the Florida peninsula, stretching into the Gulf of Mexico. The coral cays that make up the archipelago are linked by the Overseas Highway, which includes the Seven Mile Bridge spanning the gap between Knight's Key and Little Duck Key.
The numerous dive sites along the Keys are among the best diving in the USA and include colourful reefs and famous wreck dives, such as the USS Spiegel Grove and the Adolphus Busch. The huge, 510ft Spiegel Grove wreck is a particular highlight for metal heads, while the colourful reefs and potential reef shark and dolphin encounters at Little Palm Island are also pretty special and can be enjoyed by divers of all levels.