Best scandal, surf spot, place to eavesdrop and more.
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Our picks for the sometimes less obvious winners.
Best Dive Shop (2012)
614 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey
Divers actually spend relatively little time underwater. That’s the problem with breathing compressed air. They are, however, great talkers. And that’s one of Bamboo Reef’s great charms. It’s a great place to just hang out and yap about diving with like-minded merpeople. Under the same ownership for 32 years, Bamboo Reef employs highly knowledgeable local guides, technically adept dive masters and even ex-Fish and Game wardens who know their spearfishing. Add to that a vast array of equipment, guided classes and reliable rentals, and you’ve got the best dive shop in a county known for its world-class diving.