The diving in California is varied and spectacular, but if there’s one thing that defines this state’s dive experience it’s the massive, looming kelp forests that rival the state’s redwoods. Under ideal conditions, this marine algae can live for 20 years, reach lengths of 45 metres/150 feet and grow 60 centimetres/two feet a day. (That’s not a misprint.) There is nothing to compare with descending down through the massive fronds that rise from the depths to a verdant surface canopy. Sunbeams filter through, and everywhere you look there’s life: Sea otters nestle on the surface, bright orange Garibaldi show no fear, giant black sea bass are as big as VWs, and bat rays cruise the sandy edges. Imagine the most spectacular forest you can and pretend you’re a bird. It’s a bit like that.
Best Scuba Diving Spots in California
La Jolla Cove
Channel Islands National Park
California Sea Life
Off the coast of California you can see humpback whales, great white sharks, and droves of sea lions and dolphins. The fertile waters bring plenty of animals cruising around the shore. Expect to swim through kelp forests with tuna and paddle through the shallows, checking out octopi and starfish.
How To Get There
SFO (San Francisco International) and LAX (Los Angeles International) are responsible for the majority of international flights to California. OAK (Oakland International) is located near SFO and is often less expensive to fly to. Airports for domestic flights include BUR (Burbank), LGB (Long Beach), SNA (Orange County) and SAN (San Diego).