For ocean lovers, there is nothing more exhilarating than snorkeling and exploring magical underwater worlds. Boasting 95,471 miles of coastline, it’s no wonder that America offers some magnificent places to snorkel. From the sea caves of San Diego to the Florida mangroves, going underwater is truly the best way to experience these incredible spots, as you’ll get the chance to swim alongside various tropical fishes, forests of giant kelp, and wild dolphin pods. That’s not to say that you need to be bound to the mainland – some of the USA’s best snorkeling vacation spots are on beautiful exotic islands. So, if you’re planning a snorkeling vacation, these breathtaking US getaways are a great place to start.
La Jolla, California
If you’ve ever dreamt about swimming with sharks, this beautiful neighborhood of San Diego is the perfect place to fulfill your dreams. From seals and leopard sharks to sea lions and sea urchins, La Jolla truly has it all. With such a wide array of underwater wildlife, it is one of the most exciting snorkeling spots in America. But in order to get the best experience possible, you need to equip yourself with high quality gear and opt for the best full face snorkel mask available, and explore this wonderful underwater spot to the fullest. In addition to swimming with wonderful sea creatures, you may even learn how to do a “Sting Ray Shuffle” here, which is an unconventional method of entering the water, and get the chance to experience snorkeling in a new and exciting way.
Crystal River, Florida
While the first thing that springs to mind when you think about Florida is probably the beach, the Crystal River in North Central Florida boasts some of the clearest inland water in the US, making it one of the best snorkeling places to visit. It is also the only place in the nation where you can regularly swim with the endangered West Indian manatee. As a snorkeler, not only will you get the chance to interact with these incredible animals in their natural habitat, but you’ll also be able to encounter some bewildering wildlife on the boat ride to and from the manatee spot.
Block Island, Rhode Island
Just a 45-minute ferry ride from mainland Rhode Island, Block Island is a beautiful, serene island located in the middle of Montauk and Martha’s Vineyards. Due to its massive depth and incredible beauty, it is often called the “Bermuda of the north”, and it represents one of the best snorkeling spots in the US. As you begin your underwater adventure through the crystal clear waters of Block Island, you’ll get the rare opportunity of witnessing the juvenile tropical fish that are closely guarded in the bright and vivid coral reefs, and truly get the experience of a lifetime.
Captain Cook, Hawaii
Sheltered by high green cliffs, Kealakekua Bay (also called Captain Cook Bay) is one of the best places to snorkel in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Hopping on a boat tour here will get you from the rocky beach to the bay’s numerous incredible snorkeling spots, where you can swim with wild dolphins, as well as hundreds of species of breathtaking underwater animals. Since this protected bay enjoys calm water all year round, it is even a great place to explore by kayak, skimming over the waves with a view straight into the crystal clear water.
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
A barrier reef covers 19,000 acres and surrounds two-thirds of St. Croix, wrapping the island in some of the most diverse marine life you’ll ever encounter in a snorkel mask. Head to Cane Bay and snorkel off the gorgeous beaches in search of sea turtles among the swaying grass, or follow the Buck Island underwater trail that takes you right past hawksbill sea turtles, manta rays, and colorful fish that all feed off the biggest contiguous reef in the Eastern Caribbean. Whatever you choose, this protected marine sanctuary in the US Virgin Islands might very well be the best snorkeling spot you ever visit.
Go beneath the surface on either coast, and you can swim with manatees, examine shipwrecks, or gaze at beautiful giant sea turtles. So, grab your fins, pack your bags and experience incredible underwater adventures in America.