Best Snorkeling Locations in the United States (USA)

While relaxing on the beach is nice, there’s nothing quite like exploring the wonders that lie beneath the water. From getting up close and personal with manatees to swimming with colorful schools of fish, the U.S. offers all sorts of amazing ocean experiences.

Here are the top five snorkeling locations in the U.S. that should definitely be on your bucket list.

1. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Mia2you

Dry Tortugas National Park provides some of the best snorkeling in the country. No matter if you’re a novice or expert, you can enjoy everything that this oceanic wonder has to offer. The warm shallow waters, which range from 5-15 feet, are home to colorful fish, healthy corals, and even sea sponges.
To make the most of snorkeling in Dry Tortugas National Park, be sure to check out the area along the moat wall as well as the southern and northern wharf ruins.

2. Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Lahaina Beach in Maui.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Angela Dowin

Lahaina and other beaches in Maui are some of the best places in the world for snorkeling. The water is crystal clear and warm, making it ideal for diving and exploring. Here you’ll encounter all sorts of amazing marine life, including parrotfish, white tip reef sharks, sea turtles, black surgeonfish, and colorful corals.
Some of the best places to snorkel in Lahaina include Wahikuli Beach Park, Mala Wharf, and Kapalua Bay.

3. Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida

Crystal Springs in Florida
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alisia Luther

The clear, warm waters of Crystal River are perfect to explore. If you’ve ever wanted to swim with manatees, this is the place to go. Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, which consists of 20 different islands, was specifically designed to protect endangered manatees. It’s home to more than 200 of these gentle giants.
Aside from hanging with sea dogs, Crystal River is also a great place to see schools of snappers, snooks, mullets, bass, and freshwater turtles.

4. Catalina Island, California

Catalina Island in California.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sofiia Dorsey

Voted “World’s Healthiest Marine Environment” by Scuba Diving Magazine, Catalina Island is one of the state’s Channel Islands. Explore amazing undersea gardens and experience the local marine eco-system. The crystal-clear waters offer visibility from 40-100 feet.
During your excursion you can expect to see bat rays, kelp bass, and the vibrant garibaldi. You may even come across a giant black sea bass!

5. St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nancy Pauwels

Known for its aqua blue water, St. Croix is an amazing spot for novice and expert snorkelers. You don’t have to go too deep into the ocean to see beautiful sights as the water is crystal clear. Enjoy the warm Caribbean water and spend a few hours swimming with all sorts of marine life, including turtles and colorful reef fish.
Top spots on the island for snorkeling include Buck Island Reef, Cane Bay Beach, and Frederiksted Pier.

Ashley Page

Author: Ashley Page


Ashley Page is freelance writer with more than 10 years worth of experience.

Leave a Comment