Scuba Diving in the City – Top Urban Scuba Diving Sites


Summer in the city can be a sweltering affair. It can cause metro residents to dream about that next dive trip to an exotic and remote location that’s miles away from their bustling neighborhood.

But believe it or not, veritably every major city on the globe has a couple of destinations, to allow city-dwellers to squeeze in a quick diving trip without veering too far away from home.

So whether your full-time or part-time residence is in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or even London, despite living in the concrete jungle, there are ample day-trips at your disposal to get away from the grind, and enjoy a little time under the water.

Los Angeles

California is well known for having a nice array of scuba diving sites just offshore. But LA residents who want to get away from the glamorous crowds can plan a trip well off the coast to the remote and incredible beautiful Santa Barbara Island.

Ranked high on many American “Top 10” lists, this island is home to several breathtaking dive sites, including the Sea Lion Rookery where a large mammal encounter is all but guaranteed, and Ralph’s Ridge, where it’s not unusual to come face-to-face with giant sea bass and blue sharks.

New York City

When you’re in the heart of Manhattan, it’s hard to imagine a scuba diving adventure that’s remotely close to the Big Apple. But head over to Montauk on Long Island, and you’ll find a completely different perspective altogether.

Best from June to September, when visibility can extend to up to 100’ ft. or more, scuba divers who discover these offshore waters will be treated to blue and mako sharks, lobsters and even an artificial reef just south of Manhattan that’s made of old Redbird subway cars.


Yes, Sydney may come in second to the Great Barrier Reef for Aussie diving destinations, but scuba divers who head to the northern city limits will find temperate waters and sheltered diving sites that are perfect for an easy day trip.

Check out Shelly Beach, (which is a quick drive away from Downtown Manly), for easy access, and look for the nearby penguin colony for a cool and unexpected encounter with the residents.


The UK has a surprisingly vast number of inland sites that are an easy train ride away for most London-ites, but professional divers argue Stoney Cove in Leicestershire is one of the best, (albeit also one of the busiest.)

The popularity is well deserved, however, as the flooded quarry can offer unique challenges to divers of all skill levels, and features a local aquatic landscape that includes perch, pike and other unique underwater features and terrain.


Credit the Great Lakes locale, which is home to some of the best American wreck diving, for the abundance of scuba sites that aren’t too far away for Chicago area residents.

For a destination that is literally on the northern outskirts of town, (off of Highwood), head over the PS Lady Elgin. It’s a rediscovered wreck site in waters roughly 60’ ft. deep. Downed in 1860, divers can explore the site’s bow, side wheels, and boiler, as well as a wealth of small marine life.

Because veritably every major city is close to a major body of water, most divers won’t have to travel too far to find a day-trip destination. Keep your skills always intact, and plan a little excursion to cool off during the summer in the city.

Want to learn about cool urban dive spots? Check out our website to contact us. If you live in the Dallas area, swing by our shop in Carrollton, and we’ll be happy to chat with you about scuba!

Article Name
Scuba Diving in the City – Top Destinations for Metropolis Residents and Visitors
Whether you live in New York, Los Angeles, or even London there are ample day-trips to get away from the grind, and enjoy a little time under the water.

3 responses to “Scuba Diving in the City – Top Urban Scuba Diving Sites”

  1. Catalina Rusk says:

    The penguin colony at Shelly Beach is so cool! I was in Australia for work and made the trip. Beyond awesome.

  2. Roman Kaeptz says:

    The best city dive spots have to be in Europe. The waters are so clear and clean. You wouldn’t believe what you see there. Book a trip.

  3. Conrad Parent says:

    Been to Shelly Beach and it was nice. Been to Stoney Cove and it was cold. Nice article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Keep up with SCUBA news, trips and gear!