When out on the west coast, you don’t have to head all the way out to Hawaii to get in some great snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean. Head down the California coast to La Jolla cove just outside sunny San Diego in southern California. Protected as part of a marine reserve, La Jolla Cove is a popular with snorkelers and swimmers a like, thanks to its clear waters and abundance of marine life. La Jolla cove snorkeling is some of the very best snorkeling California has to offer, and appropriate for snorkelers of any age and experience level.
Of course as with any location you plan to snorkel or swim, La Jolla cove snorkeling often requires you to check with local officials on the day’s conditions as large swells are known to sneak in from the open Pacific Ocean. In our experience it is best to head out to the cove during low tide, as many smaller tide pools will surface and provide for some perfect snorkeling. From the top of the cove, head down towards the beaches where you will find the lifeguard station, filled with useful information on swells, water conditions and more. It’s also not a bad idea to ask the friendly lifeguards where the best spots are that day for La Jolla cove snorkeling.
Being part of the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, a marine refuge area, common water devices that would attract distracting-swimmers such as boogie boards, inflatable rafts, and even kayaks, are strictly prohibited in the cove and monitored heavily by the lifeguards on duty. Also with the La Jolla cove protected as an ecological reserve, fishing is also prohibited and strictly monitored. Because the cove faces outward into deeper water than most of the San Diego/La Jolla coastline, the water may be a bit colder than other parts of southern California. With the weather on land never varying much from 70-90 degrees from spring to fall, it’s still not quite cold enough for a wet suit to be necessary while La Jolla cove snorkeling.
Also a popular aspect of La Jolla cove snorkeling visitors are the caves on the outskirts of the cove. Water conditions permitting, head over to snorkel the caves where you will have the chance to swim with the docile leopard sharks, rays, shell fish and if you’re lucky enough the playful (and also docile) seals that call the cove home.