Diving in California

California, the third largest state in the United States of America, boasts some of the best cold-water diving in the country. Marine life in California is abundant and diverse with species that go from the largest animals like whales, sharks and sea lions, to the smallest sea creatures like the colorful nudibranch. Diving in California, you will encounter a breathtaking kelp forest, which is one of the most spectacular sites you will admire. According to many divers, there is nothing in the world more beautiful than seeing the light from an above stream, down through the kelp beds on a sunny day. California offers many possible diving adventures. Hundreds of fantastic shore dives and great boat diving can be found in this state. Southern California is most famous for its shore dives. Multiple-day liveaboard charters can take you to more remote locations like the Channel Islands, the Coronado Islands, and Catalina Island. Some other must-visit dive sites in California include Southeast Farallon Island State Marine Reserve, Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve, Wreck Alley, and Veteran’s Park. Southern California has high temperatures during summer, reaching 16º C (60º F), while the north has cool temperatures during the same season, reaching 10º C (50º F). In winter, temperatures can vary from high to mid 5º C (40º F). Be ready because you might require a 7mm (.28 inches) thick wetsuit with hood, booties, and gloves or a drysuit, depending on the time of year you go diving, as temperatures will vary. No matter what time of year you visit, you will find the perfect diving adventu

Dive Sites in California

Featured places to go in California

Channel Islands

Also known as the Galapagos of North America, the Channel Islands are a protected park within America’s National Park system.

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Southern California

The famous ’Wreck Alley’, kelp beds and beach diving await you in Southern California.

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Northern California

California’s northern coast is rugged and has chilly water, but it’s also beautiful and charming with rocky cliffs, windy roads and spectacular diving.

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Aquatic Life in California

The cold Pacific waters on the coast of California have abundant marine life. Throughout the state, you can have amazing encounters with large species such as great white sharks, leopard sharks, angel sharks, sea lions, seals, dolphins, and whales. Diving in California, you will find plenty of different fish species, including seahorses, rockfish, kelp greenling, cabezon, lingcod, and scorpion fish. You can also expect to see fish that are unique to this region like the California sheephead, wolf eel, the bright orange Garibaldi, and giant black sea bass. Many beautiful micro-organisms and plenty of different species of colorful nudibranchs, mantis shrimp, anemones, sea stars, and brittle stars, can be found in California by divers that come from all around the world. You will also see squ