The first few weeks of fall are a perfect time to explore some easy-to-reach dive sites without breaking the bank.
Many popular diving and tourist destinations start to “slow down” in the early fall. The throngs of crowds begin to disappear from the beach.
Local hotels and accommodations providers lower their prices too! As a result, it’s a great time to score a deal on a place to stay, a diving trip or just a nice meal out.
All while enjoying a landscape that’s a little less populated than the height of the summer season.
And best of all, the waters in these coastal destinations stay relatively warm until the end of September or even later, deepening on the locale.
When all these factors are combined, it becomes clear that fall is an ideal time to squeeze in another diving vacation before 2016 comes to a close.
Need a little inspiration? Then check out these spots where the diving is exceptional, and the prices are right for an off-season exploration.
The Outer Banks are a series of barrier islands that are located just off the mainland of North Carolina. Vacation rental homes, motels and stunning beaches clutter these islands.
During the summer season, people flock to the beach communities. But in the fall and winter months, the local towns are wonderfully deserted and quiet.
Also, motel rates and vacation rental rates are typically seasonal, which means that a beach house that cost $1,000 in the summer may only cost $750 by the time fall rolls around.
If you’ve never been before and aren’t sure where to start, head to the southern Outer Banks towns close to Emerald Isle for some exceptional diving through the Olympus Dive Center in Morehead City.
There are hundreds of wrecks offshore. And while they can be hard to reach, the dive center can whisk you off to the best locations to see ancient shipwrecks as well as congregations of local sharks.
There are tons of diving destinations along the Florida coastline to explore which can range from the incredible wrecks off of Key Largo to the clear water reefs off of the southern mainland.
With school back in session, the hotels and motels all along the I-95 corridor, the main route from the north to the heart of the state, tend to drop their prices or at least offer last-minute deals on unoccupied rooms.
The trick here is to stay slightly away from the coastline to extend your budget. The further you are away from the beach, the lower the rate of your accommodations.
Thankfully, with the arrival of fall, these slightly inland areas are less buggy and less humid, and with a barely-coastal breeze in the background, are easy to enjoy.
Like many American beach destinations, when the summer is over, the communities along the Texas shoreline start to slow down to a refreshingly quieter pace.
And with this reduction in the local population comes a reduction in the price of accommodations and places to stay. Divers can score an excellent deal on beach houses that are a shell’s throw away from the water.
You can start your diving adventures by heading to the centrally located town of Freeport, Texas, to access the incredible “Flower Gardens.”
It’s a long hike to this destination that’s found well offshore, about an 8-hour ride, but once you’re there, expect to see just about every creature that frequents the Gulf Stream, from manta rays to giant sea turtles.
Easily one of Texas’ most famed diving destinations, (despite its location 100 miles away), the Flower Gardens are always worth the trip just to see what massive or unique creature will make an appearance.
For a diving trip that feels like it’s worlds away, but which is fairly close to home, head to Puerto Rico.
As a US territory, there’s no passport required, and once you’ve landed, it’s easy to find an abundance of cheap accommodations that can range from casual motels to protected resorts.
If you’ve never been before, head to the primary southern city of Ponce. In Ponce, there is a thin ribbon of beach that separates the town from miles-deep drop-offs with colorful reefs and abundant marine life.
Last minute deals are available throughout the island. A mid-week getaway with weekday plane tickets and accommodations can also save a traveler hundreds of dollars.
Above all else, if you’re looking to escape on a fall getaway but don’t have a lot of extra funds to start traveling, start by searching close to home.
Many tourist destinations reduce prices on accommodations and activities once the fall arrives. There could easily be a wealth of unique dive sites in your local lakes, sounds, or ocean waters, that are almost right in your backyard.
So start dreaming, and start planning. Fall is a great time for a vacation, and you’ll never regret adding another dive vacation to your 2016 itinerary.