La Jolla Cove Snorkeling is a treasure of a beach that the whole family can enjoy, whether it be swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving,kayaking, checking out the tide pools or just lying on the sand. La Jolla is in one of the most beautiful parts of San Diego that offers easy access to the beach, tide pools, restaurants, and a huge grassy picnicking area.


The best way to enjoy La Jolla Cove is with a mask, snorkel and fin set. Congratulations, now that the hard parts over, you are officially a snorkeler. And it doesn’t get much better than snorkeling La Jolla Cove. The cove offers an easy walk-in entry off the beach and as soon as you are knee deep, throw that face in the water, wave to the sea lions and start cruising around. There can be 100+ people in the water on the weekends. If you stay within about 100 feet of the shoreline, you should be able to stand easily.

It’s not like Magic Mountain or anything. There are no height limits to this scientific accuracy I speak of. That’s due to the tide changing throughout the day. Now, even though you are amazed by the fish, leopard sharks, sea lions, and lobsters swimming all around, you’ve got to peak up occasionally to make sure the local kayak tours don’t treat your head like the iceberg in the well-known Titanic catastrophe. Well, unless Leo is hanging off the front and you’re looking to fake a rescue response.


La Jolla Cove is best known for the herds of sea lions tanning on the rocks right off the shoreline. It’s a pretty regular thing to see them swimming around the cove trying to get to know the locals. The cove itself is surrounded by sandstone cliffs offering nice shade during the earlier parts of the day and you can take advantage of that to swim your way right into the multiple caves hidden in these cliffs. There are a few caves you can swim into as well.

Assuming all is Ok and there weren’t any run-ins with the local kayakers, you should be able to swim through some of the kelp forests which are unique to California’s shorelines. Parts of this cove can reach depths of 30 feet or more and it can be fun to dive down to get a closer look at some of the fish cruising around. Remember though, you need to save some time to explore the caves. Expect to see some rays, lobsters hiding in the rocks, leopard sharks either hanging out on the bottom or swimming around depending on the time of year. You will definitely see some bright gold Garibaldi. For a full list of the sea life you may come across, please see the Franko Maps card in the link below.


We loved the Mask, Snorkel and Fin set from Reef Tourer for snorkeling at La Jolla Cove. This set fits great and is super user friendly and affordable.


1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037-3600 From the I-5 S, take exit 28, Continue on La Jolla Village Dr. Take Torrey Pines Rd to Coast Blvd. Turn Right on Prospect Place and park anywhere in this area. No matter where you park around here, you will have easy access to the beach as well as all the shopping and restaurants the area has to offer.