Laguna Beach, California

Scuba Dive Shaw’s Cove, Laguna Beach

Originally added by Travis Poulson

A fantastic spot rich with kelp forests, marine life and a thrilling swim-through crevice. One of the best beach dives in Orange County, regardless of experience level.

Shaw’s Cove is located just 3 minutes North of Laguna Beach’s Main Beach Park and one beach south of Crescent Bay. There’s a dive shop placed conveniently above the cove so if you need to rent equipment, it’s right there. The shop is close enough to walk to the cove, but with 60 pounds of gear, that’s not a fun walk. I recommend renting multiple tanks for multiple dives to get your money’s worth.

Park on a side street above the stairs and then march your gear down to the beach. As you enter the water, stay on the right side of the beach and follow the rocky reef to about 20 feet deep. Massive sheep crab are known to hang out under this ledge. Eventually you’ll come to a narrow canyon cutting through the reef to the right. This is a fun feature that can be explored as long as the current is safe and the surf is low. Follow it through some narrows, a swim-through and finally to the exit on the other side in Crescent Bay.

Beyond the canyon are vibrant kept forest groves filled with abundant wildlife. Garibaldi and sheepshead are common. I’ve spotted bat rays and leopard shark here as well. If you’re lucky, you’ll find an octopus hiding in a crack.

Happy diving! 

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