The south of the United States (for our purposes) runs around the Florida peninsula, and then along the costal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, finishing at the Mexico border. Most of the diving is focused around Florida and the popular Keys, but there are also some well known locations around the southern state coasts.
Florida is set up as a very easy tourist destination. Accomodation and facilities are plentiful with the obvious holiday attractions like Disney Studios and holiday parks of Orlando. A great family destination if a little formulaic.
For the diver the main draw tends to be the Keys, a chain of 34 islands starting just south of Miami and ending up at Key West and it's famous sunsets! In between you have Key Biscayne, the Marathon Keys, and Key Largo (home of the Duane and the Speigel Grove for the wreckies). The keys are connected by the Overseas Highway - US Route 1, a set of bridges and roads that join the islands like a necklace of pearls. The lifestyle gets more relaxed as you head west and the crowds thin out until you hit Key West, where it all comes flooding back. Some great diving in warm waters.
As already mentioned this is a superb location for wreck lovers. All along the florida coast to the keys are a range of artificial and natural wrecks for all levels. Take a look at the wreck search page to see them all.
But the Keys are not the only diving Florida has to offer, along the east coast are multiple dive locations such as Palm Bay, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Blue Springs. Florida has an advanced attitude to artifical reefs and these locations can also come up with some interesting dives such as the 2 M60 Army tanks at Miamai Beach, or the Mercedes in Fort Lauderdale.
On the west coast there is Crystal River and the Florida Springs where you can snorkel with Manatees, or go Cavern diving.
Moving away from Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, there are 2 special dive sites that take a bit more work to get to. Decommissioned Oil Rigs close to the outflow of the Mississippi river can produce some great dives but are not for the faint hearted. Whilst the Flower Gardens Banks Marine Sanctuary, 100 miles from land are spectacular salt domes covered in coral. Manta rays and Whale Sharks have been seen here. The seas can be tough and very unforgiving and the dive season runs from February through to October. Served by Liveaboard, you motor out overnight to start the first dive in the morning.
Is the above OK? Why not
it if you can do better!