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Ontario, Canada
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Are there any areas close to shore to snorkle or are most good areas only had by going by boat?

las vegas
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485 posts
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1. Re: Snorkeling

Go to Catalina. You can take a day trip directly from Newport Beach:


Newport Beach, CA
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2. Re: Snorkeling

No need to go to Catalina. Since you're staying at NCV Crystal Cove is right there.

Crystal Cove, which is a shallow breaking beach and very clear is popular for this. One of the reasons it's caled Crystal Cove is because it's very clear, relatively speaking.

It's also a dolphin birthing ground so some people may find that enticing although it depends on the time of the year.

Water temps late August/early Sept. are at their warmest.


There is, supposedly, (and I don't know this for sure) that there is also a ship wreck in about of 80 feet of water off shore.


Huntington Beach...
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for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
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3. Re: Snorkeling


I don't think there is an actual shipwreck at Crystal Cove but if you scroll down the page on the above link to Crystal Cove State Park you'll find reference to other interesting underwater finds including an airplane and two historic anchors.

las vegas
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4. Re: Snorkeling

If you decide to snorkel at Crystal Cove and want to find out what underwater attractions might be visible, Franko sells an excellent map: frankosmaps.com/mm5/merchant.mvc…

I stand by my previous comment, though. In Catalina, you are on the lee side of the island, protected from the ocean swell, so conditions are usually very calm. There are tons of fish within snorkeling distance of the surface. On the mainland, however, it is usually too rough to snorkel directly over the parts of the reef that extend up to the surface -- see the swell model here: cdip.ucsd.edu/… , and even if you are there on one of the rare days calm enough to do so, the sea life tends to hang out a little deeper. If you are a diver, you can get below the surgy conditions at the surface. Once you get below, say, 20 feet, and down to about 50 feet where the reefs tend to bottom out at the sandy bottom, there's a lot to see. But visibility is usually only 10-12 feet or so, so you just can't see that stuff from the surface, and most people can't dive that deep with just snorkeling equipment.

Edited: 12:25 pm, August 15, 2011
Newport Beach...
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5. Re: Snorkeling

I've done some snorkeling in Laguna Beach too. We've gone out at Woods Cove and Three Arch Bay. You can go right off the beach. Nothing amazing, but worth the time.

The difference between Catalina and the mainland, I think, is the amount of fish and the ocean swells. In Catalina, you are snorkeling in calm waters, and there are tons of fish. On the mainland, you are often snorkeling in rougher waters and there are far fewer fish. But, on a calm day, it can be fun.

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6. Re: Snorkeling

Of the locations mentioned, Catalina is the best but you would have to go there by boat. Without a boat, the next best from my experience is the south side of 3 Arch Bay. However, thats a private neighborhood, and I dont know if the guard there allows people to access the beach easily(maybe you could ask?) Next after that would be Crystal Cove & Woods Cove

Snorkling is at best just OK in So CA

7. Re: Snorkeling

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