La Jolla Cove is one of San Diego’s most picturesque beaches. Situated at the point of downtown La Jolla, this beach is very popular for a variety of water activities including swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving – and with good reason. The beautiful waters around La Jolla Cove fall under the Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve, an area where no species of fish or marine life may be taken.
Because it is so well protected, the La Jolla Cove boasts some of the most beautiful diving in San Diego. You can find large animals and fish undisturbed by the humans who share their environment. When calm and clear, it is one of the most beautiful places to snorkel and scuba dive in San Diego.
Diving La Jolla Cove: Kelp Forests
From a SCUBA standpoint, La Jolla Cove in San Diego is most famous for one thing: its kelp forests. Beautiful kelp grows from the ocean floor to the surface, and on sunny days the fronds take on a beautiful golden glow.
The kelp forest is home to: sea lions, harbor seals, soupfin sharks, Garibaldi (our state marine fish), and so many more species of life. During certain times of the year, La Jolla Cove even becomes an aggregation site for the amazing sevengill sharks. (To learn about our sevengill shark diving trips click here)
This is generally our second dive after La Jolla Shores, as it is a bit shallower (45 feet max). After suiting up and walking down the stairs to the beach, this dive involves a 10-15 minute surface swim before descending into the kelp forest.
Click here to learn about guided dive tours.
Snorkeling La Jolla Cove: Caves & Sea Lions
When the ocean is calm, La Jolla Cove is an amazing location to snorkel in San Diego. Providing easy access to shallow water and a huge amount of fish and marine life, you’ll likely see lots of bright orange Garibaldi and sea lions playing underwater.
On occasion, big surf will make La Jolla Cove unfit for snorkeling, because it is less protected than the La Jolla Shores.