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.