La Jolla Snorkeling
Discover Amazing Sea Life and
Coastal Geology

La Jolla snorkeling is an adventure!

Sea caves, sea arches, sandy beaches and rocky reefs offer thrilling tours to swimmers and snorkelers.

Use a waterproof camera to photograph orange Garibaldis, Sea Lions, and Leopard Sharks.


Hawaii Islands may have tropical fish, but California has kelp forests and seaweeds that provide home to much sea life.


Just a few steps away from hotels and parking, you will find beach entries to San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, one of the California State Marine Conservation Areas.

This Park protects 6,000 acres of ocean and tidelands adjacent to La Jolla's cliffs, sandy beaches, and rocky coastline.

On any given day, La Jolla snorkeling offers amazing views of sea life.

Hundreds of Sea Lions sunbathe and swim along the La Jolla coastline. These Sea Lions are soaking up sun rays at Goldfish Point.

Are there Leopard Sharks in the waters off La Jolla?

Yes, there are!

For many years, snorkeling at La Jolla Shores beach has been recognized as a premier place to view the Leopard Sharks in shallow waters just steps from your beach towel.

Leopard Sharks mate in La Jolla Shores waters. They do have a small set of teeth. Their primary food is crustaceans that they suck up from the sandy bottom.

I have swum with dozens of Leopard Sharks many times. Snorkeling with Leopard Sharks is a thrill every time!

In the photo below, you can see why these fish got their name. Leopard Sharks have patterns similar to a Leopard.

This photograph of the Leopard Shark was taken at La Jolla Shores beach in late September with a waterproof Panasonic Lumix DMC-T53. After cleaning and drying the camera, I uploaded the digital images to Apple iPhoto software. Then I edited the photograph by using iPhoto Quick Fixes tools such as Crop and Enhance. I made a few final edits with iPhoto Adjust tools. And Presto! The photo is ready for viewing.

La Jolla Snorkeling - Let's Get Started and Safety

  1. Safety first. Whether it is a swimming pool or the ocean, know your physical limits in the water. Do not push yourself beyond your abilities in the water.
  2. Know the ocean conditions and weather conditions. Check the local conditions before entering the water.Remain alert while in the water,too. Ocean and weather conditions can change quickly.
  3. The San Diego Lifeguard offers a daily surf report. It is updated one or two times a day. The report includes surf, ocean, and weather information for local beaches. Call 619-221-8824.
  4. Swim and do water sports at beaches with lifeguard patrol. Ask the lifeguard questions about the conditions.
  5. Join a water sports class or hire a guide. When I was on my honeymoon, we hired a stand up paddle guide. We learned to do a fun new sport, and we took some great underwater photos using a waterproof camera.

    My friends and I have taken tours and rented from several vendors in La Jolla Shores, including OEX and San Diego Kayak.


One of the reasons I enjoy snorkeling is that the gear is simpler than full SCUBA gear. You only need a mask, snorkel and fins and a wetsuit. You do not need a SCUBA air tank.

You can buy or rent the snorkel & mask and fins and wetsuit at a La Jolla kayak and snorkel shop. Or you can shop at a large retail store. I have shopped for snorkeling gear at these retailers in San Diego:

The Sports Chalet http://www.sportchalet.com/

House of SCUBA.http://www.houseofscuba.com/

Ocean Enterprises. http://www.oceanenterprises.com

I have rented snorkeling gear several times at House of SCUBA for my family. They help with sizing and fitting, which is essential. When you are in the ocean, you do not want your mask to leak if it is too big for your face.

La Jolla snorkeling adventures will thrill you, your friends and family.


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