Divers usually seek out distant waters for their adventures, but there’s plenty of places to explore closer to home, according to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). During the pandemic, the group has seen interest grow in online instruction, and certification at local dive shops.
“Divers are finding adventures in their own backyards,” says Kristin Valette-Wirth, chief brand and membership officer for the group. She shares some favorite close-to-home diving spots with USA TODAY.
This 50-acre lake lures divers with underwater platforms, submerged vehicles and sunken aircrafts, along with freshwater fish, including rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegills, koi, yellow perch and goldfish. (Open mid-April-September with select dates in October, November and December)
“It’s a super inviting experience. You can go down and learn on the platforms and feel very safe,” Valette-Wirth says.
More information: dutchsprings.com
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Key Largo, Florida
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