I've snorkeled only in Hawaii, the Seychelles, Palau and Yap and never seen anything but healthy sites with no bleached coral -- maybe because I was with guides who knew the area. Thus, I am spoiled.

I'd like recommendations for good sites within a few hours flying time of Dulles (Washington DC airport). By "good" I mean healthy coral, diversity of species, warm water in February, and where I won't bump into more snorkelers than fish. Because I plan to snorkel alone, not with a group, sites should be accessible from shore and without dangerous currents.

I don't believe anything I read from resorts advertising themselves.

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I haven't been diving/snorkeling in 10 years. But, back then I was looking at the U.S. Virgin Islands because the dive/travel websites and travel books I read told of nice snorkeling beaches on those Islands that were easily accessible and not crowded at all. Back then those islands were overlooked and not crowded. I never made it there. I'm not sure about the flight time.

If you're looking for something a little bit different: Some of my friends snorkeled with the manatees in the rivers in Florida. I don't remember which ones they visited. But, they really enjoyed it. They did not do a tour; but, they asked some locals about how to do it. The local divers told them to bring heavy scrub brushes to scrub the manatees backs. The big beasts really enjoyed that.

Yeah - I remember snorkeling in Hawaii a lot by myself. It was wonderful to just walk off the beach and see some cool stuff.

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