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Maryland’s proximity to the water makes it a wonderful location for aquatic activities like scuba diving. Whether you’re a local or an adventurous guest in the area, we’re here to help you find the best places for scuba diving in Maryland.
It may feel daunting to figure out where to dive or how to find the right instructor but fear not! That’s why we’re here, after all.
Let’s dive in, in our own way, to go over the ‘need to knows’ before you head out into the water on your own.
Where to Find Maryland Scuba Diving Instructors
When it comes to diving, or getting in the water in any way, really, it’s important to make sure that you are comfortable and well-trained before you dive in headfirst. Lessons can be fun, and even skilled divers can use refreshers from time-to-time.
So, as you search for scuba diving instructors in Maryland, here are some options to keep in mind:
Atlantic Edge Scuba
Atlantic Edge Scuba is a highly rated, widely acclaimed training option. Not only do they act as the official scuba store for the National Aquarium in Baltimore, but they are also the Mid Atlantic’s largest PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center, having served Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. for 24 years.
Atlantic Edge offers a full range of PADI diver-training courses, from Scuba Try it to Learn to Dive in a Day to Instructor.
Test Your Knowledge About Scuba Diving!
SCUBA Professional Education Dive School
SCUBA Professional Education Dive School has over 50 years of experience training students, also serving Maryland, Northern Virginia, and D.C. at its convenient location just across from the Friendship Heights Metro.
ON top of PADI international certification programs, this dive school also offers free monthly scuba orientation sessions to learn more about the world of diving and what the school can do to help their students.
There are plenty of scuba training programs around the area, but making sure that courses are PADI certifications, and can be recognized internationally is important. This helps you ensure that you’re receiving proper training, but it also opens up a whole world (literally) of diving locations in your future.
Top Maryland Dive Spots
When it comes to the best places to go scuba diving, it never hurts to have a local perspective, like that of an instructor or frequent diver.
If you’re confident in your skills, and already certified, you might be ready to dive right in! So, let’s talk about some spots to go scuba diving in Maryland.
In no particular order, here are 3 places we recommend for diving:
1. Guppy Gulch
A quarry located in Delta, Pennsylvania but just north of Maryland’s state line, we consider this a local spot, nonetheless.
Guppy Gulch is also great for scuba divers of all experience levels and can be perfect if you have an expert and a beginner just fresh out of lessons in your group.
The quarry is an hour and a half drive from D.C., and boars 5 underwater platforms at 10’, 20’, and 30’. On top of that, there are 320 floating docks across the gulch’s 15 acres of spring-fed water, making it a truly wonderful place to do your scuba training.
You can expect an on-site air station, water that is treated to ensure improved visibility, depths of up to 80 feet, (you might just see sunken vehicles, like boats, trains, cycles, and trucks!) night diving openings upon appointment, and parking near the dive site.
Diving is open all year long, and camping facilities onsite supplement the lighted pavilions and picnic tables when weather permits.
2. Hyde’s Quarry
Located near Westminster, MD, Hyde’s Quarry is a freshwater scuba diving facility open most weekends during the season, from April through November.
This spot offers a great space to dive, 11 acres, with plenty of underwater attractions. The best part? You won’t have to travel far or drop too much money.
Visit sunken sites like a school bus, three boats, a jeep, concrete pipes, and even an airplane! The maximum depth is about 50 feet and can be great for those with slightly less experience diving. Though, frequent divers also enjoy Hyde’s Quarry.
Generally open from 9 a.m. until about noon, depending on weather and interest on a given day, you should plan to get there right around opening time to make sure you get to dive.
3. Dutch Springs
For reference, this dive site is by far the largest and most secluded of the 3 we have listed. So, if accessibility is your goal this might not be best for you.
However, if a 50-acre lake about 200 miles from D.C. sounds like your cup of tea, Dutch Springs is your spot!
With depths of up to 100 feet, you’re sure to see more experienced divers making the most of this great space and its underwater attractions.
The underwater platforms in these springs are also perfect for newer divers and students. A spring-fed lake from an underground aquifer filtering through limestone, you can also expect fantastic visibility.
Sunken vehicles, aircraft, and other exciting sights are in place for divers at varying depths. You’ll also see lots of aquatic life here, like largemouth bass, koi, goldfish, and other fish.
Test out the Waters
Now that you have the inside scoop on scuba diving in Maryland, it’s time to take the leap and try it for yourself.
Remember, if outdoor (or aquatic) activities aren’t quite your thing, we have plenty of recommendations for fun indoor things to do and see around the state. Head into Baltimore and explore, as an example.
If you’re traveling a group and some want to get adventurous while others prefer a more relaxing approach, we can assure you that there’s plenty here to make everyone beyond happy!
Are you a diver, live in the state, or have visited before and have any tips you think we might have missed? Let us know!