The growing popularity of marine recreational fishing has created considerable interest in artificial marine habitat development to maintain and enhance coastal fishery stocks. This paper provides a comparative evaluation of travel cost methods to estimate recreational use benefits for new habitat site planning. Theoretical concerns about price and quality effects of substitute sites, corner solutions in site choice, and econometric estimation are considered. Results from a case study indicate that benefit estimates are influenced by the way these concerns are addressed, but relatively simple single site models can provide defensible estimates. Practical limitations on data collection and model estimation are also considered.