San Diego is a top destination spot for scuba diving in California. With a wide variety of underwater topography and marine biodiversity, San Diego dive sites are as diverse as the people who live there.
A few of the notable spots are: The La Jolla Shores, The La Jolla Cove, and The Marine Room.
La Jolla Shores: Arguably the city’s most popular scuba diving site, the shores is a place that invites new students to master scuba diver trainers alike. The shores has easy accessibility, with abundant parking and public facilities like showers, bathrooms, and lifeguard towers. It is also known for its small, lake-like surf, which every diver about to do a shore entry dive can really appreciate. La Jolla Shores has a sandy bottom, nicknamed the sandy flats, a perfect spot to stop around 15 feet under and teach that open water class. La Jolla Shores also happens to be the best entry point to the submerged canyon. Referred to as an underwater Grand Canyon, the steep walls of the La Jolla Canyon are home to Octopi, Lobsters, Crabs, and Bristol Stars.
La Jolla Cove: Once you put your mask underwater, you find yourself in a whole other world. This spot is not only part of the La Jolla Park Ecological Reserve, but it is also home to the beginning of the Giant Kelp Forest. In this look, but don’t touch environment, expect to see large schools of fish, including Calico Bass, Top Smelt, Bonita, and even on some occasions Barracuda. Some of your most common sightings are California Sea Lions (who live just yards away on the costal rock), and tons of Garibaldi, California’s marine state fish. Keep in mind that this dive site is greatly affected by the weather. Depending on the days tide, surf, and surge, the site can be awesome, to awful. Always check with the experts before heading out.
Marine Room: It is not a surprise that this spot is named after the historical Marine Room Restaurant located right on the sand in beautiful La Jolla. The Marine Room (dive site) is a shallow scattered rocky reef with abundant patches of sea grass and Feathered Boa Kelp. This place is much less crowded then its neighboring dive sites because of its lack of public amenities, public parking, and the overall difficulty to access. Under the right conditions, this is a great place to catch a peek at Leopard Sharks in the summer time, or check out some large Sheep Crab. Maybe even see some Sargo, Barred Sand Bass, Olive Rockfish, Opaleye, Garibaldi, Half-moon, Zebra Perch, Horn Shark, Halibut, or even Sea stars. Yeah, there’s a lot to see here.