New York is not typically thought of as a scuba diving destination. Most people associate scuba diving with tropical locations like Hawaii or the Caribbean. But many people don’t know that some excellent scuba diving spots exist in and around New York.
In this guide, we will explore some of the best scuba diving in New York. We will cover where to find the best dive sites, what gear you need, and what safety precautions to take.
Why Scuba Diving in New York Can Be a Great Experience
There are many reasons why New York is an excellent place to scuba dive. The city has a rich history and many exciting dive sites around it to explore. The water is clean and clear, making it ideal for diving.
The diversity of the marine life in New York is another reason why it is an excellent place to scuba dive. Over 200 species of fish call the waters around New York home. This means there is always something new to see when diving in New York.
Finally, the scuba diving community in New York is very friendly and welcoming. Many dive shops and instructors are located around the city, so finding someone to help you get started with scuba diving is easy.
New York City is the most populous city in the United States, with a population of about 8.8 million (2018). The Greater New York metropolitan area is home to more than 23 million people, making it one of the largest urban areas in the world. Therefore, there is great interest in scuba diving options around New York – let’s explore some of them.
Scuba Diving Permits in New York
In order to scuba dive in New York, for many locations you must have a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation. You can apply for a permit online or at any DEC office.
The permit costs $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents. If you are under 18 years old, you must have a parent or guardian’s signature on your permit application.
The Best Dive Sites in New York
Here are some of the best dive sites in New York:
Hudson River Valley
The Hudson River is one of the most popular dive spots in New York. The river is home to a variety of fish, including trout, bass, and catfish. There are also a number of shipwrecks in the river, which makes for interesting diving. The visibility in the river is generally good, and the water is relatively warm compared to other dive sites in New York.
Lake Ontario is another popular spot for scuba diving in New York. The lake is home to several shipwrecks, including the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in 1975. Lake Ontario also offers divers a chance to see a variety of freshwater fish and other aquatic life.
Long Island Sound
Long Island Sound is another great place to go scuba diving in New York. The sound is home to several shipwrecks. It also offers divers a chance to see a variety of fish and other aquatic life.
Montauk is a world-renowned scuba diving destination located in the Hamptons on Long Island, New York. The area is known for its dramatic underwater topography, clear waters, and abundance of marine life.
It is home to a number of wrecks, reefs, and artificial reefs that attract scuba divers from all over the world. The most popular dive sites include the U-boat wreck off Montauk Point, the SS Columbia reef, and the Ditch Plains reef.
The waters off Montauk are teeming with marine life, including cod, flounder, striped bass, bluefish, sharks, squid, and seahorses. In addition to its incredible biodiversity, Montauk is also known for its spectacular visibility, which can reach up to 100 feet on a good day.
Where Should You NOT Dive in New York?
New York has some great dive sites, but there are also some places where you should not dive. Here is a list of some of the places where you should not dive in New York:
- The East River: The East River is full of pollutants and is very dangerous to dive in.
- New York Harbor: The harbor is full of shipwrecks and other debris, making it dangerous to dive in. In addition, the water is often murky, and visibility can be poor.
- Staten Island: There are a few good dive sites on Staten Island, but the water around the island is often polluted, and visibility can be poor.
Best Dive Shops in New York
There are many great dive shops in New York, but these are our favorites:
- Gotham Divers Shop – This shop is located at 125 E 4th St, and it offers a wide range of scuba diving gear and services. They have knowledgeable staff and offer classes for all levels of divers.
- Scuba New York – This shop is located at 2037 Central Park Ave, Yonkers and offers a wide range of scuba diving gear and services. They have a knowledgeable staff and offer classes for all levels of diversity.
- Bronx Scuba – This shop is located in the Bronx and offers a wide range of scuba diving gear and services. They have knowledgeable staff and offer classes for all levels of divers.
- Good Life Divers – This shop is located in Long Island and offers a wide range of scuba diving gear and services. They have knowledgeable staff and offer classes for all levels of divers.
Prices You Can Expect Per Dive with Dive Shops in New York
There are a number of dive shops in New York that offer scuba diving lessons and trips. Prices vary depending on the shop, but you can expect to pay around $70-$120 per dive. Some shops also offer discounts for groups or for multiple dives.
How to Pack for a Scuba Vacation in New York
Assuming you’re flying into New York City, you’ll want to pack light. A checked bag should be large enough to fit all of your scuba gear, including your wetsuit, fins, and mask. You may also want to bring a beach towel and sunscreen.
While you can also rent all equipment, if you’re planning on doing a lot of diving, it’s worth it to invest in your own.
When packing for your scuba vacation, remember to pack your dive certification card and logbook. These will come in handy when booking dives and showing proof of experience to dive masters.
Things to Consider Before Going on a Scuba Diving Vacation in New York
If you’re thinking of going on a scuba diving vacation in New York, there are a few things you’ll need to take into consideration.
First, what is the weather like? The average water temperature in New York is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll need to make sure you have a wetsuit that will keep you warm. You should also check the forecast before you go, as the weather can change quickly and unexpectedly.
Second, what is the visibility like? Visibility can vary depending on where you’re diving and the time of year. In general, visibility is best in the summer months. However, if you’re planning on diving in one of New York’s many lakes, it’s important to know that visibility can be greatly reduced due to algae growth.
Third, what types of dive sites are available? New York has a variety of dive sites to choose from, ranging from beginner-friendly reefs to more advanced wreck dives. Be sure to do your research and pick a dive site that matches your skill level.
Finally, what equipment do you need? If you don’t already own your own scuba gear, you’ll need to rent it or buy it before your trip. Most dive shops will have everything you need for rental or purchase.
Be sure to get all of your essential scuba gear, including your wetsuit, fins, mask, and snorkel. Don’t forget any medications or first-aid supplies you need.
What To Do When Not Scuba Diving in New York?
Visit one of the many museums or art galleries
New York is home to some famous museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. If you’re not into art, there are also plenty of other museums to choose from, such as the American Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum.
Explore Central Park
Central Park is one of New York City’s most beloved attractions. With over 843 acres to explore, you could spend days wandering through this massive park. Highlights include the Conservatory Garden, Belvedere Castle, and Strawberry Fields.
Take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
One of the most recognizable monuments in New York City is the Brooklyn Bridge. Spanning for a total of 1.825 kilometers, it provides breathtaking panoramas of lower Manhattan and the East River.
Catch a Broadway show
A trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without seeing a Broadway show. From classics like The Phantom of the Opera to newer hits like Hamilton, there’s sure to be a show that appeals.
Some Interesting Facts About New York
- The water temperature in New York can vary greatly depending on the time of year and the location. In general, the water is coldest in the winter and warmest in the summer. The best time to scuba dive in New York is from June to August, when the water temperatures are at their highest.
- NYC is often referred to as the “city that never sleeps,” and with good reason. The city is a 24-hour metropolis with something always going on. Whether you’re looking for culture and nightlife or just want to people-watch, you can find it all in New York.
- New York City is divided into five boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.
- Manhattan is the economic and cultural heart of New York City. It is home to some of the world’s most famous landmarks, including Times Square and Central Park.
- Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City. It is known for its diversity, arts scene, and waterfront parks.
- Queens is the largest borough in New York City by area. It is home to JFK International Airport and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets baseball team.
- The Bronx is home to Yankee Stadium, the zoo, and botanical gardens. It also has a large Hispanic population.
- Staten Island is the least populous borough but has a significant historical presence dating back to when it was first settled by Europeans in 1609.
What is the best scuba diving in New York?
The best scuba diving in New York can be found at the wrecks of the SS Andrea Doria and the USS Monitor. These two shipwrecks are located off the coast of Long Island, and they offer divers a chance to explore an underwater world that is teeming with marine life. Other popular scuba diving spots in New York include the Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, and Niagara Falls.
Where can I find a scuba diving school in New York?
Scuba schools can be found all over New York State, but some of the more popular ones are located in New York City, Long Island, and Buffalo. There are also many scuba clubs and organizations that offer classes and certification programs.
Before you go diving on your own, we strongly recommend that you get certified (even if not required by law in New York).
Is scuba diving good in New York?
Yes, New York offers some great scuba diving locations, both in and around the city.
However, the currents in New York can be strong, so make sure you know where they are and how to swim safely in them. Finally, always have a buddy with you when you go diving. This is not only for safety purposes but also because it’s more fun!
Should I take a group dive or private dive in New York?
There are a number of scuba diving operators in New York that offer both group and private dives. Group dives are a great way to meet other divers and learn about different dive sites.
Private dives give you the opportunity to explore at your own pace and customize your dive to your own interests.
Can you go snorkeling in New York?
Yes, you can go snorkeling in New York! In fact, there are a number of great spots for snorkeling in and around New York City.
If you’re looking for a place to snorkel in the city, Central Park is a great option. There are a number of ponds and lakes within the park that are perfect for exploring. Plus, the park is beautiful, and you’re sure to spot some wildlife while you’re snorkeling.
If you’re willing to travel outside of the city, Long Island is home to some of the best snorkeling spots in New York. There are a number of sites off of the coast that offer stunning views and plenty of fish to see. There’s definitely somewhere nearby that you can go snorkeling!
When is the best time to scuba dive in New York?
The best time to scuba dive in New York is during the summer months when the water is warm, and visibility is good. However, diving is possible year-round if you are willing to brave the cold waters.
How long does it take to learn scuba diving in New York?
It takes anywhere from a few days to a week to complete a scuba diving course in New York. The average person can complete an Open Water Diver course in 3-4 days.
The sport of scuba diving requires training and certification. An Open Water Diver course covers the basic skills and safety procedures required for scuba diving.
With a wealth of dive sites to choose from, both in the city and around its coastline, there’s something for everyone when scuba diving in New York. From beginner-friendly dives to advanced wrecks, there’s a dive site in New York to suit your level of experience. So, what are you waiting for? Get your scuba gear on and explore the underwater world of New York!