Snorkeling is one of the most anticipated activities among tourists who arrive on Catalina Island. Lover’s Cove and Avalon Underwater Park especially, are good snorkeling spots for someone who is keen on the prospect. If you haven’t experienced this in warm waters, then you are missing out big! Catalina is perfect for that kind of thing.
Stay at a Catalina hotel and venture into the French Quarter. Diving and snorkeling are the main things to do, even before a guided tour inland if you can manage that. All snorkeling enthusiasts have Lover’s Cove somewhere on their list of places, so if you are on the island, do not pass up the chance to check it out.
What you notice before setting out is that the waters are very clear, and there are plenty of fish, mainly Kelp Bass and Garibaldi. Lover’s Cove is walking distance from Hotel Metropole, one of the finest Catalina hotel to stay at. Head out the day after you have settled in. Right before hitting the beach, you can gear up at the picnic tables on the road.
You enter the water from the stairs, which lead down to the rocky shore. It is better to wear sandals because there are some river rocks before you come to the water, but no sand. The cove itself is a site set aside for snorkeling. It has plenty of fish of the Garibaldi, Bass and Sheep Head types, particularly exciting when they swarm you.
Every inbound tour boat feeds these fish to draw them in for the tourists to see. The fishes think everyone’s there to feed them, so they come up in numbers and give you plenty of good photo opportunities. There is plenty of plant life here as well, like a kelp forest, sea fans, and eelgrass. Water depth is shallow for the starting stretch, which goes to about 20 feet.
Another nearby spot is the Avalon Underwater Park. The clarity of the water there is so good that you can see about fifty feet from the shore. You enter through the stairway that is placed behind Avalon Casino.