West Ashley. 335 Savannah Hwy. 763-3483
Charleston Scuba may be one of the only dive shops in town, but they're Best of Charleston champions 10 years running because divers enjoy being there, often stopping by just to hang out. They've survived 20 years in Charleston by focusing on customers -- they want them to be great divers, to feel at home, and to be happy with their experiences, purchases, and color and sizes in suits. The shop not only provides equipment but also trains clients and takes them on dives.
Owner Sally Robinson (pictured above) explains that there are plenty of cool dives around Charleston. She once saw a manta ray just offshore, and was so excited she called her mom to tell her. She's also dived with manatees, which she calls "amazingly gentle creatures." Charleston Scuba's staff took a diving trip to Truk Lagoon in Micronesia, exploring sunken wrecks from WWII at what is arguably the best shipwreck diving site in the world.
The company offers river dives as well, where divers often find huge fossilized sharks' teeth, large mammal fossils, Native American artifacts, and old bottles dating as far back as the late 1600's.
Charleston Scuba also collaborates with the S.C. Aquarium, providing them with video of underwater habitat and marine life. They've adapted to the times by making classes more flexible, going online, and adding more employees to meet Charleston's growing demand. In a city surrounded by water, there's no off-season below the surface.