Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Massachusetts

Massachusetts provides a variety of diving locations and exploration possibilities. Cape Ann affords numerous shore-diving locations, with countless varieties of fish (tautog, flounder, skate, striped bass, and squid, to name but a few!) In addition, lobster and crab can also be found in most rocky areas. An abundance of interesting wrecks can also be accessed from shore.
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40 Steps

Massachusetts, USA East

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This is fine cove for casual diving. Easy entry and mostly sheltered from the sea. Coming from Boston, take 1A North. It will become North Shore Road, and then Lynnway. Continue to stay on Lynnway, wrapping around the coast, bearing right onto Nahant Road. From that intersection, the site will be on your left in 3.25 miles.
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Front Beach

Massachusetts, USA East

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Front Beach is best as a swimming beach for the kids. The area is mostly sandy and shallow, with a few patches of rocks. It is, however, an excellent starting point for those willing to make the swim around the point to the left and end up in the next cove over, Back Beach. At the intersection of SR 127 and SR127A in Rockport (NE Cape Ann), turn South on SR 127A (Beach Street) to head into Rockport. In .3 miles, Front Beach will be on your left. You will pass Back Beach along the way.
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Plum Cove

Massachusetts, USA East

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Plum Cove is a relatively easy entry and is generally shelter from ocean swell when other sites may be undivable. With a maximum depth of 35 feet, it is great for novices just wanting to get web for a couple of hours. At the intersection of SR 127 and SR127A in Rockport (NE Cape Ann), continue North for 4.2 miles. The Cove will appear on your right.
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Castle Rock

Massachusetts, USA East

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Yikes!!! When we came across this site, it looked like it would be suicide to enter the water! But this was just after a storm, and it was actually a lot fun watching the huge waves crashing upon the shore. Great place for storm watching! On a calm day, we are told the entry is very easy off a small sandy beach. With depths of 30 feet, you'll find a good variety of sea life within the kelp beds and rocks. Coming from Boston, take 1A North, and turn right on 129 in Swampscott. In 4 miles, turn right onto Beach Street, which then becomes Ocean Ave. If coming from Salem, take 114 South for 3.4 miles. Turn right on Ocean Ave. Head across the Marblehead Neck. At the fork with Harbor Ave., stay on Ocean Ave. The site is 1.25 miles from that fork.
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Back Beach

Massachusetts, USA East

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Back Beach is a very easy site and should be interesting for all skill levels. Because of the easy of entry and proximity to parking, many come here watch the squid perform their antics during a night dive. At the intersection of SR 127 and SR127A in Rockport (NE Cape Ann), turn South on SR 127A (Beach Street) to head into Rockport. In .2 miles, Back Beach will be on your left.
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Folly Cove

Massachusetts, USA East

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Folly Cove is one of the finer dives on this part of the peninsula due to the accessibility of a spectacular wall just outside the cove. Any life indigenous to the New England area can be found here. At the intersection of SR 127 and SR127A in Rockport (NE Cape Ann), continue North for 2.3 miles, turn right onto Gott Ave. Parking will be on your right in about 200 yards.
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Norman's Woe

Massachusetts, USA East

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If you can't tell from the pictures, this is an advanced dive! But if you are up for the 200 yard hike, and a crawl down the rocks into a precarious entry, you'll love this dive. Plenty of lobster and other critters will surround you. We'd definitely recommend a guide for your first trip here. At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn right on SR 127A (Cross Street), and then bear left onto SR 127 South. In 1.3 miles, you will cross a bridge. In another 1.5 miles, turn left onto Hesperus Ave. In 1.4 miles, parking will be at a fenced area on your left..
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Old Garden Beach

Massachusetts, USA East

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Old Garden Beach is in a small and very scenic residential area of Rockport. It used by divers of all skill levels due to its ease of entry. At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn Left on SR 127A (Cross Street). In one half mile, turn left (following SR 127A) onto Thatcher Road. After 4.3 miles, turn right onto Calebs Lane, and travel almost to the end (.25 miles), turning left on Old Garden Rd. The Beach will be on your right.
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Cape Hedge

Massachusetts, USA East

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Cape Hedge is an easy, shallow dive with depths of no more than 35 feet. At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn Left on SR 127A (Cross Street). In one half mile, turn left (following SR 127A) onto Thatcher Road. After 2.8 miles, turn right onto South Street, and travel almost to the end (.4 miles), bearing to the right when you get to the ocean.
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Canoe Beach, Nahant

Massachusetts, USA East

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Halibut Point

Massachusetts, USA East

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Halibut Cove is a fairly easy dive (if the conditions are right), but can be physical demanding to get the entry. You'll have almost a mile hike from the parking area, so you will definitely need a three or four wheeled equipment cart. Only do this dive if you are good shape. Remember that the effects of nitrogen are magnified by physical exertion. At the intersection of SR 127 and SR127A in Rockport (NE Cape Ann), continue North for 1.8 miles, turn right onto Gott Ave. Parking will be on your right in about 200 yards.
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Loblolly Cove

Massachusetts, USA East

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Loblolly Cove is an area popular with dive classes due to its shallow depths and abundance of shallow water creatures. At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn Left on SR 127A (Cross Street). In one half mile, turn left (following SR 127A) onto Thatcher Road. After 2.8 miles, turn right onto South Street, and travel almost to the end (.4 miles), turning left on Penzance for another .8 miles at which point you will dead end.
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Pebble Beach

Massachusetts, USA East

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Pebble Beach is a popular night diving area because of the proximity of parking and an easy shore entry. The depths are no more than 25 feet for several hundred yards out to sea. At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn Left on SR 127A (Cross Street). In one half mile, turn left (following SR 127A) onto Thatcher Road. After 2.8 miles, turn right onto South Street, and travel almost to the end (.4 miles), turning left on Penzance for another .25 miles.
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Salt Island

Massachusetts, USA East

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Salt Island is an easy dive, however, the hike out is not! For the best diving you'll need to walk out to the far side of Salt Island during low tide, so make sure you are in shape! At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn Left on SR 127A (Cross Street). In one half mile, continue straight onto Nautilus Road for another quarter mile. Alternatively, in one half mile, turn left on Thatcher Road and turn right in .7 miles into the Good Harbor Beach Lot. The latter is closer to Salt Island.
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Bass Rocks

Massachusetts, USA East

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Bass Rocks is a great dive if the weather is cooperating. It is fairly shallow, and the entry can be challenging, but the abundant sea life will make it worth the effort. At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn Left on SR 127A (Cross Street). In one half mile, turn right on Atlantic Rd. In one more mile you'll arrive at the dive site.
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Chimneys

Massachusetts, USA East

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Chimneys is located at the Northeastern University Marine Station. It is a very easy dive with lots of walls to explore. Our biggest problem was with parking. Inquire locally for your best options. Coming from Boston, take 1A North. It will become North Shore Road, and then Lynnway. Continue to stay on Lynnway, wrapping around the coast, bearing right onto Nahant Road. From that intersection, the site will be on your left in 3.5 miles.
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Cathedral Rocks

Massachusetts, USA East

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One of the more popular dives in Cape Ann, Cathedral Rocks is known for its abundance of lobsters and for its deep dives. If you consider yourself an advanced diver, you'll feel at home here. At the intersection of SR 127 and SR127A in Rockport (NE Cape Ann), continue North for 1.2 miles, turn right onto Cathedral Ave, and continue further for another .1 mile.
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Hoop Pole Cove

Massachusetts, USA East

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Hoop Pole Cove is known for its great lobstering. With depths no more than 40 feet, you'll find lots of nooks and crannies in the rocky bottom, a favorite habitat of our favorite crustation. At the intersection of SR 127 and SR127A in Rockport (NE Cape Ann), continue North for 1.4 miles, turn right onto Phillips Ave, and continue further for another .43 miles.
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Magnolia Rocks

Massachusetts, USA East

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Another good area for lobster, Magnolia Rocks can be a great dive once you get past the rocky entry. You can descend down to about 45 feet where you'll find boulders, sand and crevasses. Perfect for exploration! At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn right on SR 127A (Cross Street), and then bear left onto SR 127 South. In 1.3 miles, you will cross a bridge. In another 2.3 miles, turn left onto Magnolia Ave. In .6 miles, turn left onto Raymond/Norman. In 300 yards, turn right onto Lexington Ave. and go to the end.
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Stage Fort Park

Massachusetts, USA East

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Stage Fort Park offers an easy entry and a shallow dive. Mostly sandy throughout the center of the cove, the edges offer more exciting exploration. Diving is only permitted here during the off-season, so call ahead to get the exact dates. At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn right on SR 127A (Cross Street), and then bear left onto SR 127 South. In 1.3 miles, you will cross a bridge. The park will be your first left after the bridge (.22 miles). The dive site is .36 miles further.
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Whale Cove

Massachusetts, USA East

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Whale Cove is another great place to try your hand at lobstering. With a relatively easy entry, watch out for swells and boulders! At the end of SR 128 in Cape Ann, turn Left on SR 127A (Cross Street). In one half mile, turn left (following SR 127A) onto Thatcher Road. After 3.6 miles, turn right onto Whale Cove Lane (not Whale Cove Rd) for another 200 yards at which point you will dead end.
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Scenery Mass

Massachusetts, USA East

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