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By Scuba Diving Partner | Published On May 29, 2015
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California has 1,264 miles of coastline, much of it gloriously divable. The options are as varied as you might expect from such a vast expanse: there are luscious kelp forests off Monterey and Carmel, picture-perfect shore dives off Point Lobos, myriad pinnacles and formations surrounding the Channel Islands, and submarine canyons and a fleet of wrecks off La Jolla and San Diego. And that’s just scratching the surface. These are just some of the best known dive destinations, but creative divers can—and do—go almost anywhere in the state. Self-sufficient divers go all the way up the north coast, where they find extraordinary kelp forests and scenic coves. To the south, diving is popular all around Orange County and the Los Angeles area, with Palos Verde, Redondo Beach and Santa Monica being prime attractions. Hence, any list of best dives can offer only the merest suggestion of the state’s many possibilities.

Weather: California is relatively warm and sunny year-round, with temps generally between the 60s to 80s in Southern California. In winter, Northern California temps drop into the 40s, but can reach the 80s in the summer.

Average Water Temp: In Southern California, water temps can range from the high 40s to the mid 70s depending on the season. The central and northern coast usually see temps between 45 and 58.

Average Visibility: Varies widely, but on average is 30 to 80 feet, with some southern sites topping 100 in fall and winter.

Travel Savvy: Take a road trip along scenic Highway 1, the ultimate coastal drive. It’s the best way to get psyched for any number of shore dives.

PARTNERS Caradonna Dive Adventures