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7 top American scuba diving destinations

By: Josh Lew on Sept. 19, 2012, 5:55 p.m.
colorful coral

Photo: noelweathers/Flickr

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U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands boast ideal conditions for diving. The clear and warm waters of the Caribbean can be enjoyed year-round, and the coastal areas hold an abundance of colorful and unique marine life. St. Thomas, the most accessible of the three main islands in the USVI, has a number of shipwrecks and also several reefs that are filled with colorful aquatic life. St. John, likewise, has its share of underwater attractions. But the real marine magic of the USVI lies off the island of St. Croix. This island, the farthest flung and most natural of the three, features dive sites like the famous Cane Bay Wall. At Cane Bay, divers can leave from shore and explore an impossibly colorful and life-filled reef that sits on the edge of a sheer two-mile-deep drop-off. In addition to the reefs, which sit in up to 40 feet of water, the area is known for its discarded ship anchors, many of which are over 200 years old.