4 Amazing Snorkel Spots in Southern California
Southern California encompasses a vast region of our western shoreline. With beautiful weather year-round and abundant marine preservation efforts, exploring is as easy as grabbing your favorite Seavenger Snorkel Set and heading to the beach. You can find secluded hidden gems and popular tourist destinations ideal for underwater exploration. Here are four beautiful snorkel spots scattered throughout the Southern California coastline.
Crescent Bay, Laguna Beach
The appropriately named Crescent Bay at Laguna Beach is surrounded by towering cliffs outlining the circumference of the moon-shaped beach. The north entrance hosts the best snorkel spot featuring interesting reef formations, giant kelp forests and a beautiful reef as showcased above. Catch a glimpse of sea urchins, rockfish, eelgrass, starfish, bat rays and the occasional leopard shark. On the south end, you can find an abundance of tide pools perfect for rookie snorkelers or exploring with young kids. The Laguna Beach Lifeguards monitor this location but visibility is limited on the north end. Make sure to bring a snorkeling buddy and all your gear before you head into the water. See if you can spot the famous Garibaldi fish!
Location: 1399 Circle Way, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Features: Public Restrooms & Showers. Wheelchair Accessible through the South Entrance.
Parking: No Parking Lot. Street & Meter Parking Off the Pacific Coast Highway.
La Jolla Cove, San Diego
You won’t catch any surfers at La Jolla Cove! The City of San Diego has designated the Cove as a protected marine sanctuary for swimming, snorkeling and diving only. Access the beach directly through the notably beautiful Ellen Browning Scripps Park. The north end of the cove is the most often toured snorkel spot and features several sea caves as you swim south during extremely low tide. Check-in with the on-duty Lifeguards for guidance on entering these sea caves. Continue south if you’re looking to explore massive and bright kelp beds. The beach conditions typically offer about 5 feet of clear visibility underwater consistently throughout the year. In close proximity to Laguna, the brightly colored California State Garibaldi fish can also be found in these regions. Dive in!
Location: 1100 Coast Blvd., La Jolla, CA 92037
Features: Public Restrooms & Showers in Scripps Park.
Parking: Use Paid Parking Lots Due to Limited Street Parking.
Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve, Catalina Island
Just a short walk east of the beautiful City of Avalon on Catalina Island, are the clear waters of Lover’s Cove. This seems to be one of the best-kept secrets in California, given the incredible reviews and limited information on this destination. Protected by the State of California, the eco-rich marine sanctuary does not allow surfing. Featuring a narrow and rocky path, the beach is not tailored for lounging but rather perfect for diving right in and exploring. The undersea gardens host an array of species of octopus, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, lobsters and starfish! We don’t know how this location merits such a romantic name, so you’ll have to find our from the locals and visit yourself!
Location: 400 Pebbly Beach Road, Avalon, CA 90704
Features: Public Restrooms located at Avalon Pier.
Access: Via the Catalina Express Ferry from San Pedro, Long Beach, and Dana Point. Via Catalina Flyer Catamaran from Newport Beach.
Scorpion Anchorage, Santa Cruz Island
Scorpion Anchorage is another breathtaking location just off the California Coast. Head to the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center on Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Islands National Park via ferry. The Channel Islands are about 20 miles off the coast of Ventura. Since you’re pretty far out into the Pacific Ocean, this particular destination is ideal for strong swimmers and seasoned snorkelers. The region is known for beautiful well-kept kelp forests and you’re practically guaranteed to see stingrays, crabs and schools of exotic fish. Seventeen species of marine mammals are often found throughout the premise of the island swimming alongside kayakers and underwater explorers. It is truly a perfect up close and personal underwater experience!
Location: 901 Spinnaker Dr, Ventura, CA 93001
Features: Public Restrooms & Visitor Center.
Access: Via Island Packers Ferry From Ventura Harbor.