Shaws Cove

Shaws Cove is one of the most popular dive sites in Orange County, California. It’s an excellent shore diving site, easily accessible from Fairview Street and Cliff Drive. The stairway off of Cliff Drive is the easiest way to access the beach but use the handrails, the sand on the stairs can get very slippery.

Sea urchins are everywhere, along with lobsters, eels, rays, octopus, garibaldi, calico bass, Kellet’s welks, tree fish, small sheepshead, bat stars. Sometimes dolphins can be spotted.

Level

Level

  • Beginner
Visibility

Visibility

  • 6 m
Current

Current

  • Light Current
  • No Current
  • Strong Current
  • Ripping Current
DIVE TYPES

DIVE TYPES

  • Night Dive
  • Snorkeling
  • Macro Spot
  • Kelp fish

Temperature & Visibility

Dives

Wildlife Diversity

Affiliated Training Center

Dive sites nearby

Crescent Bay

Located in the heart of Southern California, Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach is one of the most popular dive sites in this area. It can be accessed from Circle Way via a set of stairs or near Cliff Drive via a paved ramp. The stairway is between private homes so please be mindful of the neighbors.

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Divers Cove

Diver’s Cove is an easy entry shore dive great for beginning divers. You can access the beach by either the stairs located on the north side of the parking lot on Beverly & Myrtle Streets on Cliff Drive or the ramp on the south side of the parking lot. Be careful of sand as it makes the stairs and ramp slippery.

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Cress Street

One of the very best dives in Laguna Beach. Easy entry, however you must enter and exit north or south of the houses you see to your left as you go down the stairs. Failure to do so can cause you to end up on a shallow reef.

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Corona Del Mar State Beach

Corona del Mar State Beach is a great local beginner dive. Enter and exit at lifeguard tower 5 only. This is a City of Newport Beach requirement. Kick out to the first buoy in front of tower 5. This will be about 100m out. Descend and follow the reef towards the east.

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Casino Point Dive Park

Casino Point Dive Park, also known as “Casino Point“ or the Avalon Underwater Dive Park, is the most popular dive site on Catalina Island and one of the most popular dive sites in all of Southern California. Catalina Island is only accessible via private boat or ferry from the mainland so check ferry schedules.

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Pirates Cove

Drop off rocky beach, stairs to walk down to the water. Slight moss, slippery, very murky waters. Kelp Forrest was surreal. I got caught in the kelp Forrest had to remove myself from my tank and then put it back on to get out of the kelp.

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Hen Rock

A great dive site accessible by boat for all skill levels. Reef and sand bottom with depths vary from 15 to 85 feet on the outer pinnacles. Fun swim-throughs, schools of fish, mini-walls, and overhangs.

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Catalina Island

With over 70 named dive sites, Catalina Island has it all and is one of the most popular diving destinations in the state of California. On Catalina Island, you can dive from shore or boat over beautiful reefs or majestic kelp beds all teeming with wildlife.

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Bird Rock

One of the best dive sites on Catalina Island, Bird Rock varies from shallow rocks to steep drop-offs and a beautiful arch. The shallow rocky area is great for snorkeling and the entire site is great for new to advanced divers. The water is nearly always clear, calm and generally without current.

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Isthmus Reef

Isthmus Reef is a popular dive site on Catalina Island reachable only by boat. It’s a great site for open water students and newer divers due to its sheltered location and shallow depth.

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