Kelp Forest at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Best accessed from: Monterey Bay, California, where several dive shops operate daily dives.
Best dive site: The Breakwater is one of the state’s most popular dive sites, for its swaying strands of giant kelp and playful seals and otters. Point Lobos will do the trick, too.
The turbulent Pacific waters off of California’s coast provide the perfect supply of nutrients for fast-growing giant kelp, which can gain 10-12 inches in just one day and have formed dense underwater forests along the shores of Monterey. If you are not for SCUBA, the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium is home to a groundbreaking kelp forest exhibit where local inhabitants include sardines, leopard sharks, and eels. If you do the dive yourself, sea lion sightings are almost guaranteed.