Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Essex County

Ready to check out the best sites in Essex County for scuba diving, snorkeling, shore diving, free diving or other ocean activities? Zentacle has 11 dive sites, snorkel spots, beaches, and more. Discover hand-curated maps, along with reviews and photos from nature lovers like you. No matter what you're looking for, you can find a diverse range of the best ocean activities in Essex County to suit your needs.
Essex County dive site map
40 Steps

#1 - 40 Steps

Massachusetts, USA East

Unrated
(4)
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.
Plum Cove

#2 - Plum Cove

Massachusetts, USA East

beginner
(6)
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.
Niles Beach

#3 - Niles Beach

USA, Massachusetts

beginner
(0)
This is the spare tire of dive sites - when everything else is blown out, Niles is often okay to dive. This is a great back up site for instructors with classes. There is not a lot to see, although photographers claim the eel grass offers a lot of small marine life. The bottom is a combination of sand and mud. The long sandy beach offers easy entry and depths can reach up to about 20-25 feet. This site is very sheltered and has Western exposure. Parking is restricted to residents, but this is only (usually) enforced during the summer. There are no public facilities at or near the beach. You may want to lock up any valuables as it is quite an isolated area.
Chester E. Poling Wreck

#4 - Chester E. Poling Wreck

USA, Massachusetts, Cape Ann

intermediate
(0)
Stern of the Chester Poling sits upright in about 28m / 90ft. Broken in half, it makes for an awesome dive around the perimeter and over the deck. Can also be penetrated, but sediment settling in the boat could be stirred and obscure visibility. Boat access by Cape Anne Divers boat charter.
The Crane

#5 - The Crane

USA, Massachusetts

Unrated
(0)
Deep wreck dive. This is a crane that fell off a barge. It is sitting on its back, intact, in 150' of water. Covered with marine life. Very impressive, but small wreck. Can only be accessed by boat. Southeast of Rockport.
Lanes Cove

#6 - Lanes Cove

USA, Massachusetts, Cape Ann

intermediate
(0)
Head northeast on MA-128 N At Grant Circle, take the 3rd exit onto MA-127/Washington St Turn left at Andrews St/MA-127 Follow Andrews street around to parking area and walk over rock wall for dive entry.
Salt Rock

#7 - Salt Rock

USA, Massachusetts, Cape Ann

beginner
(0)
Many crevices and interesting formations near island. Boat access from Cape Anne Divers boat charter.
Paddock Rock

#8 - Paddock Rock

USA, Massachusetts, Cape Ann

beginner
(0)
Pinnacle dive with steep walls and crevices. Easy to navigate and circle around. Boat access from Cape Anne Divers boat charter.
Burnham Rocks

#9 - Burnham Rocks

USA, Massachusetts, Cape Ann

beginner
(0)
Burnham Rocks is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in USA, Massachusetts, Cape Ann which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
Halfway Rock

#10 - Halfway Rock

USA, Massachusetts, Cape Ann

beginner
(0)
Wall dive with lots of marine life. Can have stronger currents than most dives in the area. Boat access by Cape Anne Divers boat charter.
Pebble Beach

#11 - Pebble Beach

USA, Massachusetts, Cape Ann

beginner
(0)
Head northeast on MA-128 N At Grant Circle, take the 2nd exit onto MA-128 At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on MA-128 Turn left at Eastern Ave/MA-127 Turn right at Barn Ln Turn left at MA-127A/Thatcher Rd Turn right at Tregony Bow Turn right at South St Turn left at Old Penzance Rd Park along the pebbles (free).