Diving in San Diego: 4 Amazing Diving Sites to View the Underwater City of San Diego

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70 miles of clean and developed beaches surround the city of San Diego from one side, making it an ideal spot for divers to explore the marine life inhabited by the Pacific. The city with an idyllic climate and natural beaches remains a major attraction for the entire world. By offering numerous fun activities, the city caters to all the group of tourists, the laidback one visiting the local attractions and having a gala time as well as the adventurous group of tourists who are always in a need for an adrenaline rush.

Diving is one such activity that stays popular amidst tourists as well as locals because of the rich coral reefs and other marine life that stays active around the pacific coastlines of San Diego. There are many easy to find organisations established by the beaches which offer guided and unguided tours into the ocean at reasonable prices. This article aims to list out the popular diving sites in San Diego for the readers to plan out their itineraries.

4 popular diving sites in San Diego

1. La Jolla Cove: Home to the Sea lions and Kelp forests

La Jolla Kelp Forest
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Famous for the kelp forests, La Jolla Cove is a picturesque sight surrounded by cliffs and clean sand. Protected as part of Marine reserve, the underwater accessed from this popular diving spot promises rich marine lives for the scuba divers and snorkelers. You can find sea lines hauling out from the ocean to enjoy the cliffs and clean sands.

Most of the diving sites are within swimming distance from the beach. Find the entrance to this small beach through the buffs and then drop away into the ocean as you swim away from the shoreline to find yourselves whirling through the enchanted kelp forests. Spot the garibaldi fishes, lobsters and octopus as you dive into the underwater universe of the Pacific.

Address: La Jolla Cove, San Diego, CA 92037, United States
Dive site: 50m from the shoreline at La Jolla Cove
Highlights: Dive into the ocean with your cameras and gears to spot Garibaldi, Sea Stars and Octopus around the rocks amidst the dusky atmosphere of underwater.
Be careful with your camera being grabbed away by Sea lions and Harbour Seals.
You can also come across the 6-foot Sevengill shark and 3-foot Horn shark if you are lucky enough to find adequate visibility inside the sea.

2. La Jolla Shores: Gateway to the 600-feet deep blue Canyon 

Leopard Shark in La Jolla Canyon
Source

La Jolla Shores, a mile-long sandy beach, bumps into the Pacific and is located in Kellogg Park. The land on which the shore sits shelters all the diving spots from the cold and open ocean waters. It contains a gateway to the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve. La Jolla shores lead to a slope towards the ocean and into the La Jolla Canyon which serves as a haven for scuba divers and snorkelers.

You can spot leopard sharks, angel sharks, stingrays, guitarfish along the shorelines protected from the cold ocean waters. Descend towards the ocean to take a plunge into the 600-feet deep canyon and witness the magical marine life of the reserve. Find from the numerous diving sites offered at the La Jolla Shores to enjoy the blue reserve areas and canyons inhabited by a multitude of aquatic creatures. 

Beach location:  8277 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla, CA 92037, United States
Diving site: 10389 Vallecitos La Jolla, CA 92037
Highlights: You can easily spot crabs, octopus, Sheepshead and nudibranchs along the edge of the rocks underwater.
Dive into the underwater reserve through the dark blue canyon to swim along the reefs, kelp strands, seagrass and corals to enjoy the beauty of marine life. 

3. Point Loma: For ‘out in the open’ diving

Nudibranchs in Point Loma diving spot
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A hilly peninsula defining the San Diego Bay is one of the best diving locations in San Diego as it offers the view of dense kelp forest beds and beautiful sea cliffs for the divers to capture in their cameras as they float around them. The large cliffs underwater create dramatic canyons for the divers to explore aquatic life and sea atmosphere.

Most of the ‘out in the open ocean’ dive spots are located and promise an adventurous plunge into the Pacific. The cold ocean waters support and house a bunch of nutrients and aquatic life at its depths. Take a small boat ride to reach the diving site and descend unto the depth of 120 feet inside the sea to cruise your way around copious kelp strands and marine life. 

Highlights: The dive from this site promises the divers an interaction with many species of fishes like the sea bass, kelpfish and Garibaldi.
You can also spot varieties of nudibranchs along the blue underwater sheltering rocky reefs which perfectly camouflage the crabs and the lobsters amidst the coral beds of sponges, tunicates and gorgonians. 

4. Wreck Alley: For a dive into the shipwrecks

Shipwrecks in Wreck Alley
Source

An artificial and gloomy reef called Wreck Alley sitting between the La Jolla and Point Lama consists of shipwrecks and other structures- now covered with coral beds and seaweeds. Suitable for expert divers the reef features two of the most popular and calculated shipwrecks including the Yukon and the Ruby E. Both the vessels have become a home for the various species of aquatic life nurturing inside the Pacific making them diver’s favourite. Offering multiple exits, the vessels can be penetrated by the divers to explore through the design and multiple varieties of nudibranchs inhabiting the structure.

Popular diving site accessed off Mission Beach for underwater photographers, the shipwrecks situated at a depth of 80-feet and 105-feet are not suitable for beginners of diving.  
Location: Mission Beach, San Diego, CA 92109
Highlights: The 366 feet Canadian destroyer called the HMCS Yukon and the 166 feet coast guard cutter called the Ruby E were purposely sunk in the depth of the ocean and today both of them have become a great name amidst wreck divers. Spot the barnacles, anemones, starfish, crabs and tunicates inhabiting the ship wrecks.
Gear up for an adventurous dive into the blue as you plan to explore the city of San Diego. With the best visibility during the months between July and January, plan to explore the aquatic life in San Diego. For a calmer sea take the plunge between August and October. Don’t just explore the land when you can dive into the underwater to find some exciting and breath-taking views.

This post was published by Aditi Shree

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