Prepare to swim with the fishes on your next seaside vacation with dive classes for any adventure seeker. From PADI open water certifications to one-on-ones with instructors who really know deep-sea diving, St. Louis’ best scuba lessons cover every base. Keep in mind you’ll need to buy some required equipment (fins, mask, snorkel, boots) in addition to paying tuition, but most schools offer discounts of $100 or more if you buy your equipment from them. St. Louis’ best scuba schools offer that and so much more.
13001 Olive Arcade Plaza
Creve Coeur, MO 63141
9936 Kennerly Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63128
Price: $335 PADI open water certification for classroom and poolwork only/$390 for full certification including open water dives
With Y-kiki can take your introductory knowledge development in a classroom or online, then finish the certification locally, or do the open water work on your next vacation. Y-kiki teaches junior divers starting at age 10 and offers open water certification to ages 15 and older. Students may also set up a private course, complete the open water dive segment only, or earn a variety of other certifications, including dry suit and master scuba diver. Y-kiki also offers dozens of local dives and exotic trips for divers of all skill levels.
The Great American Diving Company
40 Triad South Dr.
St. Peters, MO 63304
Price: $320 PADI open water certification for classroom and poolwork only/$420 for full certification including open water dives
Great American Diving Company has a location in St. Charles, a Dive Shop in Kirkwood, and a dedicated Aquacenter for training in St. Peters. It offers a discover scuba program for just $25 per person that includes a briefing and a little time in the pool for uncertain potential divers. The $25 fee can be applied to a full training session if you register within 60 days. All training is held at the Aquacenter facility in St. Peters. Private classes are available in the company’s private pool.
513 Clark St.
St. Charles, MO 63301
Price: $295 PADI open water certification for classroom and poolwork only/$390 for full certification including open water dives
Midwest Scuba offers full open water certification, including open water dives, in just two weekends of training. Dozens of other certifications and specialties are available as well, including PADI master scuba diver, deep diver, search and recovery, and wreck diving. Midwest Scuba offers a full range of local diving events and works to connect divers with fun, exotic diving opportunities as well. Now in its 10th year, this shop continues to offer some of the best deals on scuba gear to meet any needs.
West End Diving
12464 Natural Bridge Rd.
St. Louis, MO
Price: $350 for SSI SCUBA certification
West End Diving offers a PADI course, but its basic program is an SSI SCUBA certification. It offers year-round open-water training dives at the indoor billion-gallon Bonne Terre Mine Lake about an hour from St. Louis. Unsurprisingly, West End offers a mine diver specialty certification as well. It also offers advanced, technical, and stress and rescue dive courses. Full diving certification here takes as little as two weekends.
3324 N. Illinois St.
Swansea, IL 62226
Price: $335 for classroom and pool sessions with no open water dives
Scuba World promises a premier beginner-oriented program for students 12 and older who can lap swim and tread water/float for 10 minutes. Choose weeknight, five nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or a weekend, one weekend, all day Saturday and Sunday, class. Take advantage of family discount programs and student discounts when venturing out on open water dives with this group. Scuba World arranges regular trips to Mermet Springs in southern Illinois as well as trips to more exotic locales regularly.
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Lauren Haas is a writer who specializes in finding the fun! Lauren was the publisher of the St. Louis Area Family Gazette for eight years, and now writes freelance articles on St. Louis events and attractions, budget travel, arts and entertainment and fitness topics. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.