Best Snorkeling Places around Los Angeles

by CaliCase Team on May 03, 2023

Are you looking for the best places to snorkel near Los Angeles? Look no further than Catalina Island, Malibu, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Malibu Lagoon State Beach, and Redondo Beach. Each of these destinations offers unique opportunities to explore the underwater world, from crystal-clear waters to diverse marine life. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, there is something for everyone. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what makes each of these locations such a great place to go snorkeling. You can also dive deeper with our Best Snorkeling Places in California.



Catalina Island

Catalina Island Snorkeling Spot

Catalina Island is one of the best places to snorkel near Los Angeles, and for good reason! The crystal-clear water and diverse marine life make it an ideal destination for anyone looking to explore the underwater world.

One of the highlights of snorkeling at Catalina Island is the visibility. The water here is incredibly clear, which means you can see far into the depths and spot a wide variety of marine life. From colorful fish and sea urchins to kelp forests and rocky reefs, there is always something interesting to see.

Another reason Catalina Island is a great place to snorkel is the diversity of marine life. The island is home to a wide variety of fish, including the state fish of California, the bright orange Garibaldi. You might also spot sea lions and leopard sharks, which are common in the area.

If you're new to snorkeling, there are plenty of opportunities to get started at Catalina Island. There are several areas with calm, shallow water that are perfect for beginners. One of the most popular spots is Lover's Cove, which is known for its calm waters and abundant marine life. It's a great place to get your feet wet (literally!) and explore the underwater world at your own pace.



Malibu Beach

Malibu is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning coastal scenery, but did you know that it's also a great place to snorkel? From kelp forests to colorful fish, there is plenty to see and explore underwater in Malibu.

One of the reasons Malibu is a great place to snorkel is the abundance of marine life. The kelp forests that surround the coast are home to a wide variety of fish, including bright orange Garibaldi, giant sea bass, and even leopard sharks. The kelp itself is also fascinating to observe, as it sways with the currents and creates a unique underwater landscape.

Another reason to explore Malibu's underwater world is the diversity of snorkeling spots available. From rocky reefs to sandy beaches, there are plenty of areas to explore and discover. One popular spot is Leo Carrillo State Park, which features a kelp forest that is home to a variety of fish and other marine life. Paradise Cove is another great option, with rocky reefs and colorful fish to see.

Learn more about the 7 Best Beaches at Malibu.


Palos Verdes Peninsula

Palos Verdes Peninsula

If you're looking for a great place to snorkel near Los Angeles, the Palos Verdes Peninsula should definitely be on your list. This area is known for its stunning coastline and clear waters, which make it a popular spot for snorkeling enthusiasts. Here are just a few reasons why Palos Verdes is such a great place to explore underwater:

First and foremost, the marine life in this area is incredible. The Palos Verdes Peninsula is home to a variety of fish, including kelp bass, opaleye, and senorita fish. You may also spot some larger creatures, such as sea lions, harbor seals, and even dolphins if you're lucky! There are also some interesting invertebrates to be seen, such as sea stars, sea urchins, and anemones.

Another reason why Palos Verdes is such a great place to snorkel is the underwater landscape. The coastline here is rugged and rocky, with plenty of interesting rock formations and kelp forests to explore. You'll see plenty of colorful fish darting in and out of the rocks, and if you're lucky, you might even spot a lobster or octopus hiding in a crevice.

The water here is also relatively calm and clear, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling. The visibility can vary depending on the weather and time of year, but on a good day, you can see quite far underwater. The water temperature can be a bit chilly, so be sure to wear a wetsuit to stay warm.

Finally, the Palos Verdes Peninsula is just a beautiful place to be in general. The coastline is rugged and wild, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Whether you're snorkeling or just taking a walk along the shoreline, you'll be treated to some truly breathtaking scenery.


Malibu Lagoon State Beach

Malibu Lagoon State Beach

This small beach is located right next to the Malibu Pier, and while it may not be as well-known as some other snorkeling spots in the area, it has a lot to offer.

One of the great things about snorkeling at Malibu Lagoon State Beach is that the water is shallow and calm, making it a great option for beginners or those who just want a relaxed snorkeling experience. You can easily wade into the water and start exploring without worrying about strong currents or deep drop-offs.

Another reason to check out Malibu Lagoon State Beach is the variety of marine life you can see here. The lagoon is home to a variety of fish, including perch, sand bass, and halibut, as well as crabs, starfish, and other creatures that live in the sandy bottom.

One of the coolest things about snorkeling at Malibu Lagoon State Beach, though, is the opportunity to see the artificial reef that has been created here. The reef was built in 2013 as part of a restoration project, and it has since become a popular spot for snorkelers and divers. The reef is made up of concrete modules that have been designed to mimic natural rock formations, and they are home to a variety of marine life, including sea anemones, urchins, and kelp.


Snorkeling at La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove

Located just a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles, La Jolla Cove is one of the best places to snorkel on the West Coast. It is home to a diverse range of marine life, including colorful fish, seals, sea lions, and even the occasional dolphin or leopard shark. Snorkelers have the opportunity to observe these creatures up close in their natural habitat. The cove is sheltered from large waves and strong currents, creating a relatively calm and safe environment for snorkeling, especially for beginners. The waters are generally shallow close to the shore, which adds to the safety and ease of snorkeling. 


Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of snorkeling, but it's actually a hidden gem for those who know where to look. Here are a few reasons why Redondo Beach is a great place to go snorkeling:

Firstly, Redondo Beach is home to an artificial reef system that was created to promote marine life in the area. The reef is made up of a series of concrete modules that were placed in the water, and it has become a popular spot for snorkelers and divers. The modules provide a habitat for a variety of fish, including rockfish, perch, and bass. It's a great place to get up close and personal with these creatures and see them in their natural environment.

Secondly, the water at Redondo Beach is relatively calm and clear, making it a great spot for beginners. The beach is protected from large waves and currents, which means that the water is generally calm and easy to navigate. This makes it a great place to practice your snorkeling skills and get comfortable in the water.

Finally, Redondo Beach is a great spot to visit year-round. While some snorkeling destinations are only accessible during certain times of the year, Redondo Beach is a great place to visit any time. The water temperature is generally mild, and the marine life is active year-round. Whether you're looking to beat the summer heat or take a winter snorkeling adventure, Redondo Beach is a great spot to do it.