Must-Do Dream Trip: Dive the Kelp Forests of California

Some of the country’s wildest landscapes happen to be right under our noses where you’d never think to find them—underwater. Case in point: the otherworldly seaweed forests of California.

“The kelp forests off the coast of La Jolla hold a special place in my heart,” says Katy Croff Bell. “It was one of the first open-water dives that my brother and I took after being certified in high school. Once on the bottom, the scenery was spectacular, particularly the unbelievably tall kelp that quite literally was 100 feet tall, from seafloor to the surface of the water.”

Recreational divers pick from a menu of dive sites, including a 45-foot dive in La Jolla Cove or an 80-foot dive in La Jolla Canyon, where they fin through forests of kelp swaying like ribbons and dotted with fish as bright as toys. “I really felt like I was dwarfed at the base of a gigantic forest,” says Bell.

Scuba San Diego
offers dives in the kelp forests of La Jolla for $75.