New England, Carolinas, Florida Gold Coast, Florida Keys

Divers have long treasured the waters along the east coast of the United States. From New England to North Carolina to Key West at the southwestern extreme of the Florida Keys, there are wrecks, reefs and marine life enough to satisfy the underwater explorer’s appetite.

Boat rides with established charter operators are the best way to get to the lobster grounds and historic shipwrecks off the coasts of New England. Some of the wrecks are best suited for those with training in technical diving, like the famed Andrea Doria, but there is a wealth of great diving for those with open water and advanced certifications, too.

Wrecks are also the main attraction when diving in North Carolina’s waters. More than 80 accessible wrecks that range from German U-boats to passenger liners to cargo vessels can be explored in depths that vary from 30 to 160 feet or more. Eddies in the Gulf Stream bathe these wrecks with warm water and bring numerous species typically associated with Caribbean diving.

Further south, the Florida coastline offers up prolific artificial reef programs and the beginnings of true coral reefs. The Gold Coast (named for the many Spanish Galleons wrecks on these shores), includes West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Some of the state’s best wrecks are here, adorned in sponges, bursting with tropical colors and loaded with fish. Schools of grunts, jacks, snappers and the occasional big grouper greet divers.

Yet further south, the coastline bends away and breaks up into the Florida Keys. More than 200 islands lie between Key Largo in the northeast and Key West in the southwest, with Looe Key smack in the middle. If you want beautiful, shallow dives and good viz in waters that are loaded with colorful tropical fishes and invertebrates, the Keys is your place. If you want a chance to swim with turtles, barracudas, Jewfish, eels and sharks, the Keys is your place. And if you want some great wreck dives, where big amberjack, sharks, and schooling cudas hang out, you got it, the Keys is your place once again. Dive operators in the Keys provide a wide variety of trips ranging from single dives to week-long vacations.


Dive Resorts and Operators
Dry Tortugas/Florida Keys Live-aboard www.seaclusive.com
SunStar Aquatic Services www.thediversity.com