With the current heat wave in Southern California, temperatures are soaring over 100 degrees and it seems that summer will never come to an end. Rather than stay inside in the air conditioning, embrace the heat by getting outdoors and into the water. Here are our favorite spots to go snorkeling in Southern California.[find-an-apartment]
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is one of the few places in Southern California that is protected from the surf, making it a calm and picturesque place to snorkel. The spot does have a few drawbacks. Since La Jolla is a big tourist draw, parking can be hard to come by, and the cove is often filled with swimmers and kayakers. Use caution, as waters can be deep close to shore, and make sure to pack a wet suit just in case. But once you get past the caveats, La Jolla Cove is a great place to see aquatic wildlife like seals, sea lions and a wide variety of colorful fish.
Where: 1100 Coast Blvd., La Jolla, CA 92037
A medium sized semi-secluded beach close to downtown Laguna Beach, Diver’s Cove is great for beginning snorkelers and scuba divers since there is plant and sea life only 10 feet from the shore. Access to the cove can be found at Cliff Drive in Heisler Park, although once you park, you’ll want to walk up the beach a few blocks to find the best place to snorkel. You’ll see large sea stars, sea urchins, rockfish, sandbass, perch and eelgrass. The park also sports great bathroom facilities and nice overlooks if you want to take a break from playing in the water.
Where: Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
More fun in the sun on the AG Blog:
Catalina Island is a small, rocky island off the coast of Southern California, and has become a popular beach destination. If you’re in Avalon, the main town on the island, you can take a two-minute walk to one of the best spots for snorkelers, Lover’s Cove and Pebbly Beach. A protected marine sanctuary for decades, Lover’s Cove has been voted “World’s Healthiest Marine Environment” by Scuba Diving Magazine, as it is home to hundreds of fish and invertebrates.
Where: 400 Pebbly Beach Road, Avalon, CA 90704
The Channel Islands National Marine Park is a large national park that consists of five of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California, and is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world. Scorpion Beach on Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the Channel Islands, features one of the largest sea caves in the world, which provides a ton of exploration opportunities for intermediate to advanced snorkelers. If you’re still a beginner, don’t worry; the beach provides easy access to beautiful wildlife and natural kelp forests.
Where: Channel Islands National Marine Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Dudarev Mikhail