The Best 20 Cold-Water Scuba Diving Destinations | Sport Diver

The Best 20 Cold-Water Scuba Diving Destinations

Whether you stay close to home in California or the Great Lakes or choose an exotic scuba diving adventure trip to someplace like New Zealand, these cold-water locations will definitely keep your interest, above and below the waves (or ice).

1. Channel Islands, California: kelp forests, seals and sea lions, unique marine life

2. British Columbia, Canada: soft corals, giant octopus, artificial reefs

3. New York/New Jersey: wreck diving, great beaches, New York City cultural events, concerts, theater and more

4. Great Lakes: freshwater, wrecks, the great outdoors

5. St. Lawrence River (Upper and Lower): wrecks, the Empress of Ireland, giant catfish, all kinds of whales, from belugas to blues!

6. Nunuvut, Canada: ice diving, belugas, Inuit culture

7. Antarctic: adventure, ice diving, stunning scenery, unique marine life and wildlife, bragging rights

8. Norway: swimming with orcas during the herring run

9. Iceland: unique diving situations and challenges, mind-blowing scenery, Icelandic food and culture

10. Clear Lake, OR: incredible viz, 3000-year-old petrified forest, underwater vents burbling through thick layer of ash and silt

11. Alaska: wrangling icebergs on scuba, lava tubes near Sitka

12. Scapa Flow, Scotland: WWI and WWII British blockships, remains of entire WWII scuttled German fleet, North Atlantic marine life, remote Scottish culture in the way-off-the-beaten-path Orkney Islands.

13. Vladivostok, Russia: giant octopus, Russian war wrecks, 100+ foot viz in summer, can go up in mountains and ride horses into Siberian tiger reserve

14. Kangaroo Island, Australia: leafy and weedy sea dragons, blond sea lions

15. New Zealand: Rainbow Warrior (North Island), Poor Knights islands, fjordland (South Island)

16. South Africa: sardine run, great white sharks

17. Lake Baikal, Russia: deepest lake in the world, freshwater sponges, freshwater sea lions, ice-cold vodka

18. Colorado River: 8-knot speed adrenaline-filled drift dives, river fish

19. Nova Scotia, Canada: wrecks, and some more wrecks

20. Puget Sound, WA: giant octos, wolf eels

Want more??? Check out the Planet's 50 Greatest Dive Sites.