Under the water lies mystery and discovery for experienced and beginning divers alike. If you are planning a student trip this summer or are curious about where to go on your graduation trip, check out some of these amazing underwater attractions for a cool destination.
Jacob’s Well - Wimberly, TX
An artesian spring and part of a natural aquifer, Jacob’s Well is known throughout the area as “the gem of the Texas Hill Country.” Surrounded by limestone cliffs and sparkling bright rainbows of blue and green, the well enchants all who visit. Professionals have explored the well and determined that Jacob’s Well is roughly 120 feet deep. While extremely fascinating and alluring, this can be a dangerous place for diving so be careful and be aware of the recommended precautions.
The Homestead Caldera - Midway, UT
Otherwise known as “the Crater,” this caldera is a 96-degree hot spring surrounded by a dome of the rock. Where in the past the only way in was by the large opening several dozen feet above the water, there is now a tunnel through the rock wall so visitors may easily access the caldera. Approximately 65 feet deep, this natural wonder is open daily to anyone wishing to soak in the hot springs or become scuba diving certified. The Homestead Resort, which operates nearby, offers swimming packages and snorkeling equipment for rent.
Christ of the Abyss
Modeled after the original clay statue located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Italian Riviera, a 2.5-meter tall bronze Christ was submerged in 25 feet of water near Key Largo, Florida in 1965. Christ of the Abyss is the third copy of the original and sits in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Because the statute is so close to the surface, snorkelers and scuba divers can easily see this piece of marine art without any trouble.
Neptune Memorial Reef
How many chances do you get to visit a sunken city? Located only 3.25 miles from Key Biscayne, Florida lies a unique memorial designed to resemble Atlantis. The not yet complete Reef will be the largest man-made reef at a staggering 16 acres of previously barren ocean floor. Marine artists fashioned gates, benches, walkways and streets, and statues of regal lions among other sites. Conceived as a “green burial” site, the area more resembles a memorial than a cemetery with plaques devoted to the dearly departed for loved ones to visit. The memorial is open and safe for anyone to visit.
Jules’ Undersea Lodge
Have you ever wanted to stay in a futuristic underwater hotel? If you are looking for a unique attraction and/or hotel, you should check out Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, the world’s only underwater hotel. Here you can become scuba diving certified with their excellent trainers and diving in the protected 30-foot lagoon is something to experience. Explore the marine archaeology exhibit, the MarineLab, or have fun in one of their sponsored Mini Adventures.
Weeki Wachee Springs
Diving and snorkeling is not for everyone and if you are one of these people but still want to see what the ocean has in store, along with some fun with fantasy, the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park may be just for you. This park has everything from a spring fed water park at Buccaneer Bay, canoeing and kayaking, a river boat cruise, animal shows including alligators and snakes, and their famous live mermaid shows. Watch the mermaids from the underwater theater as they perform underwater shows of their rendition of The Little Mermaid.
Scuttled or wrecked, there are plenty sunken ships to see off of the coast of the United States. The Papoose, torpedoed by a U-boat in 1942 off the coast of North Carolina, is an excellent choice for divers new and old. If you are a more experienced diver, take a look at the USS Oriskany, an aircraft carrier that served in the Pacific during WWII. This wreck was sunk in 2006 and part of the creation of the largest artificial reef near Pensacola, Florida. Another suggested wreck, a steel Canadian Destroyer sunk in 2000, is located off of San Diego and is one of the largest accessible wrecks in California.
Diving for wildlife:
If you want to see some wildlife, there are over two dozen different dive sites in Lana’i, Hawaii and each has their own diverse marvels. Take a tour with the Lahaina Divers on tours ranging from beginner difficulty to expert.
If you are inexperienced at diving but still want to see what the ocean has to offer, Blue Heron Bridge at Singer Island, Florida may be perfect for you. There is a plethora of wildlife in just six to sixteen feet of water. Chosen as the 2013 “best dive site in the world” by Sports Diver magazine, the Blue Heron Bridge offers all of the exotic sites from professional deep sea diving in shallow water with hundreds of visible species daily.
Sites both artificial and natural are in abundance along the U.S. coasts. If you are looking for beautiful fish, interesting wrecks, sunken statues, or maybe a unique sea park, look no further for your next student group getaway.