Diving here can be challenging because of the fast currents, and visibility can be low. But as you’d expect in this historic area, there are plenty of wrecks, fossils, and artifacts. In fact, there’s an entire Cooper River Underwater Heritage Trail with the key sites marked for divers.
Offshore diving centers on the network of offshore artificial reefs (go to www.dnr.sc.gov  for a list and locations), particularly the “Charleston 60” sunken barge and the new and very popular “Train Wreck,” comprising 50 deliberately sunk New York City subway cars.
The longtime popular dive spot known as the “Anchor Wreck” was recently identified as the Norwegian steamer Leif Erikkson, which sank in 1905 after a collision with another vessel. In addition to being fun dive sites, these artificial reefs have proven to be important feeding and spawning grounds for marine life.
Probably Charleston ’s best-regarded outfitter and charter operator is Charleston Scuba (335 Savannah Hwy., 843/763-3483, www.charlestonscuba.com ) in West Ashley . You also might want to check out Cooper River Scuba (843/572-0459, www.cooperriverdiving.com ) and Atlantic Coast Dive Center (209 Scott St., 843/884-1500).