Scuba around north San Diego, CA?

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Esprise Me

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FYI, for the Coronados you'll need to bring your passport. I went once before and I'm actually going again tomorrow; I saw tons of sea lions last time. What sort of things are you interested in seeing?
 

SlugMug

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCftkf4_WwWwaXJY81BmNYfQ/videos


This is some great info... even for someone local such as myself.
I've been going through this channel as I have time, and there are some great overviews about what to expect at various dive sites, thanks for this!

With limited time and if you have the budget, I suggest boat diving — especially if you will have to rent tanks and lead anyway. La Jolla Cove is an easy dive but can get really crowded, on the beach and parking. Boats run to Wreck Alley, the Coronado Islands in Mexico, and the Point Loma kelp beds.

Non-Diving Stuff:
I lived in Solana Beach for most of my adult life. We were also there in 2019 for 2 months. Check out Fidel's Little Mexico, our favorite Mexican restaurant. Watch the schedules of the Del Mar Fair and racing season because they can really jam up traffic and restaurants. You might be interested in visiting the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It's not as big as the Monterey Aquarium but is still interesting. Scripps has been at the center of a lot of diving and oceanographic history. Sea Lab II was off the Scripps Pier, just down the hill from the Aquarium.

A cruise of San Diego Bay may also be interesting, especially on a warm day. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is next to the bay cruise boats and exhibits include two submarines and the Star of India.



The USS Midway is about a mile from the Maritime Museum if you have never been on an aircraft carrier. If I had to choose, I would go to the zoo over Sea World. Have fun.
Thank you for the non-diving activities. My family-members have a list of things, and I think a couple of those items are on the list. Pretty much everything you listed sounds neat, Mexican-food, aquariums, and museums. With small aquariums, I've noticed they tend to offer an unique experience. There's a tiny one in the Austin area, that's just sitting in a shopping mall, but actually a fun experience. I'll see if there's space on the list to squeeze in a number of the things you listed..

The only thing I should need is tanks. Maybe wetsuit, if my checked-luggage space is too tight. For weights, I don't need many, and if you need to save checked-luggage weight, you can always stash a few in the carry-on.

Random question: How much do tank rentals usually cost in that area? Around here they're usually $10/day/tank which includes air.

FYI, for the Coronados you'll need to bring your passport. I went once before and I'm actually going again tomorrow; I saw tons of sea lions last time. What sort of things are you interested in seeing?
Mostly wildlife (animals, plant, coral, etc), I'm not that interested enough in most wrecks to spend money on a charter. The wrecks would have to be something epic, or really interesting. I don't have a passport, so it looks like Coronados is off the list, given I'm a month away. Though I should really get my passport.
 

Esprise Me

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In that case, I'd echo the suggestions for La Jolla Cove or La Jolla shores for an easy, fun dive with some critters, or Catalina if you have the time and really want to see some cool stuff.
 

SlugMug

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In that case, I'd echo the suggestions for La Jolla Cove or La Jolla shores for an easy, fun dive with some critters, or Catalina if you have the time and really want to see some cool stuff.
That's what I was thinking, along with Mission Bay, if I want a super-casual dive while my family plays on the beach.

My friend mentioned Catalina Island being very popular. It looks like this charter offers a trip there from San Diego, although I'll have to give them a call to double check and get details like pricing:

SCUBA Tours | Beyond Land Adventures | San Diego, CA
 

Akimbo

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Random question: How much do tank rentals usually cost in that area? Around here they're usually $10/day/tank which includes air.

I have never rented tanks in California but maybe some others can help? Ocean Enterprises is one of the largest shops in San Diego and is right off I-805 and Balboa so would be a decent place to check on suit and tank rentals.

I forgot to mention that J&J Spearfishing Supplies in Solana Beach is worth seeing if you are into freediving. They have a collection of vintage freediving and spearfishing gear that would put a smile on @Sam Miller III's face.
 

SoCalRich

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Boat Dive Definitely/ San Diego/ Marissa or Waterhorse / 2 dives done about 1:30 enjoy the rest of the day..
But! if you have the time. take a dive boat from Long Beach to Catalina you get 3 dives, meals, and better diving.
Bring a camera. Lots to see above & below the surface.
Good Divin, Dive Safe
SoCalRich
 

azstinger11

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Hey welcome to our little spot of paradise.

So just a few points, Catalina island is accessible via dive boats but they all leave from Long Beach (area), whole day affairs (3 tanks, breakfast, lunch, desert are provided). If you want to put a dry foot on the island you can catch a ferry from Long Beach or Dana point. There is a phenomenal dive park you can walk to while the family explores the town of Avalon (or maybe does a keep ride to go see the Buffalo or zip lining). There is a place that rents gear right by the dive park.

As to wrecks, the Yukon is always a crowd favorite. The Ruby E has really gotten beaten up over the last few years. Not a wreck and not in San Diego but diving the LA Oil Rigs is a super fun dive.

Deep Point Loma I find to be infinitely better than shallow Point Loma. So I always try and avoid the 60ft Point Loma charters.

Los Coronados is a fun day (and it is most of a day), almost a guaranteed sea lion rookery experience and if conditions are calm enough key hole is fun.

North county has some shore diving but I always skip it. Shaw’s Cove, Crecent in Laguna Beach are my preference.

For dive shops San Diego Divers is my preference followed by Ocean Enterprises.
 

runsongas

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la jolla cove is a nicer dive than la jolla shores. there is a small dive shop, la jolla dive, near la jolla shores that rents a limited amount of gear, but is pretty convenient if you just need tanks/weights. they had steel tanks with convertible valves when i rented there in 2018. based on your limitations, would either do a wreck alley trip or oil rig trip by boat then some shore dives at la jolla cove.
 

gajahduduk

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la jolla cove is a nicer dive than la jolla shores. there is a small dive shop, la jolla dive, near la jolla shores that rents a limited amount of gear, but is pretty convenient if you just need tanks/weights.
I'm also thinking of doing a couple dives at La Jolla Cove. Curious why you say their gear is limited? Looks like they have a full compliment? Looks like San Diego Scuba Pros are also in La Jolla? Anyone have any experience with that or better both to compare and advise?

Any thoughts on whether it would be worth the expense to go with a guide at this site?
 

runsongas

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was referring to la jolla dive which is right across the street from la jolla shores, they aren't a very large operation. there is no physical dive shop at la jolla cove. those other operators meet you at la jolla cove after you book a guided tour.
 
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