A favorite beach in San Diego for many, La Jolla Shores is a mile-long stretch of gorgeous soft sand. Situated North of downtown La Jolla, La Jolla Shores is a great family destination, since it is one of the most protected and calmest beaches in San Diego. The generally clearer waters fall under the Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve (also known as the San Diego – La Jolla Underwater Park), an area where no species of fish or marine life may be taken.
La Jolla Shores is the most popular site for scuba certification classes in San Diego, because the entry tends to remain calm even when other beaches have large waves. The Shores offers easy access to the remarkable La Jolla Submarine Canyon, an underwater canyon beginning at 50 feet and continuing down thousands of feet that is responsible for the diverse marine life in the area.
Diving La Jolla Shores: Underwater Canyon
The canyon wall at La Jolla Shores is San Diego’s most popular shore dive, and for a good reason. The entry is easy, shallow, and protected – perfect for those who have never dove cold water or for those wanting to ease back into diving. There is plenty to see in this part of the Marine Reserve as we dive along the top of the canyon wall.
Leopard sharks, octopus, pipefish, and beautifully colored nudibranchs make this a haven for small invertebrates and fish life alike, making the canyon wall a favorite dive site of local underwater photographers. Halibut, angel sharks, sarcastic fringeheads, and navanax can also be seen here.
This is our first dive of our 2-tank dive package that begins at 8am. After suiting up and kicking out for 10 minutes to the edge of the canyon, we’ll descend to about 60 feet. Following our first dive here, we do our second dive in the kelp forest of La Jolla Cove.
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Snorkeling La Jolla Shores: Leopard Sharks
During the warm summer months between May and September, La Jolla Shores is lucky enough to have the largest aggregation of harmless leopard sharks (ranging in size from 3-5′) in California. Shallow, easy snorkeling at depths of 3-10 feet make this a perfect activity for shark lovers and the family to learn about these harmless sharks that are actually quite shy around humans.
The leopard sharks are harmless, feeding mainly on small squid and baitfish. Snorkeling at the Shores is generally easier and calmer then at La Jolla Cove.
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