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Best Snorkeling Spots in San Diego

a person swimming in a pool of water

Snorkeling is the practice of swimming along the surface of a body of water while wearing a breathing tube called a snorkel. Equipped with a swim mask, you can see so much diverse wildlife if you know where to look.

Why Is San Diego Good for Snorkeling?

San Diego is world-renowned for its snorkeling spots. But what makes this beautiful city such a good destination for snorkeling? Not only does San Diego have an incredible shoreline with a variety of charming coves and microhabitats, but it also has an abundance of wildlife such as lobsters, brightly-colored fish, bat rays, and even seals and sea lions.

As if all of this wasn’t enough to make you want to pack your bags today and head off to San Diego, the weather in the beautiful city is almost always pristine and pleasant. August is the hottest month of the year with an average high of 77⁰ F and an average low of 68⁰F. Pure heaven!

San Diego has an incredible reputation for having some of the best snorkeling spots in the world. Here are a few places to go if you want an unforgettable snorkeling adventure.

La Jolla Shore & Cove

The La Jolla shore and cove are very popular snorkeling spots. In fact, the La Jolla Ecological Reserve and Underwater Park makes it on the list of top 10 snorkeling places in the world!

The La Jolla reserve and park sprawl across 6,000 acres of tidelands and ocean bottom. There are so many beautiful and unique sea creatures that call La Jolla cove home. Here are just a few of the different types of marine life divers and snorkelers in La Jolla have reported seeing:

  • Urchins
  • Octopi
  • Sea stars
  • Schools of various fish
  • Dolphins
  • Leopard sharks
  • Sea turtles
  • Garibaldi
  • Sea lions
  • Shovel nose guitar fish
  • Seals

In addition to the amazing wildlife, there are also unique sea caves in the area that you can explore. One of the more popular caves is Clam Cave, which allows visitors to kayak or snorkel through it.

Marine Room Beach

Marine Room Beach is located adjacent to the Marine Room restaurant (just south of La Jolla Shores). It’s a lesser-known snorkeling spot in San Diego, which makes it an appealing destination for those who want to snorkel in relative privacy.

Snorkelers report loads of leopard sharks, sheep crabs, bat rays and more at this charming snorkeling and diving destination. The Marine Room is great for newer snorkelers and is rated “easy” on the difficulty level scale.

Turtle Town

If you want a very memorable snorkeling experience, Turtle Town is one of the more unusual destinations you can try. The area is known for its green sea turtles, but you’ll also see small sharks, seals and many varieties of colorful fish in the area.

Turtle Town is notoriously difficult to find because it’s located in the middle of a reserve. But with a good map (or clear directions from a knowledgeable guide) you can find your way to this quaint little snorkeling spot.

Coronado Island

Coronado Island is a charming beach resort town that’s located about two miles from downtown San Diego. The island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in California and offers exciting snorkeling opportunities.

Tourists describe the water of Coronado Island as crystal blue and teeming with life. Once you get a glimpse of the rich marine life in this area, you’ll want to see more. To take your experience to the next level, consider booking a whale watching trip while you’re in the area. San Diego has some of the most incredible whale-watching opportunities, so feel free to book your outing with Next Level Sailing and take part in the experience of a lifetime.