Catalina Island is rich in all things SoCal living, especially diving. With numerous dive sites, this is a favorite of local divers. Bird Rock and Casino Point have rich kelp forests where fish thrive, including Giant Black Sea Bass. While Catalina is famous for Girabaldi, you'll also see Horn Sharks, Sea Urchins, Gorgonians, Lobsters, and more.
Santa Barbara Island
One of the Channel Islands, Santa Barbara's east side is a marine reserve. If you dive at the Rookery, be ready for sea lions to swim and play alongside you during your dive. You can also dive at Arch Reef with a sandy bottom that is 55 feet deep.
San Clemente Island
This Channel Island is best known for its dense kelp forest. The vertical wall off of Lee is a great dive spot for beginners. Pyramid Cove is a favorite off this island. In all, San Clemente offers walls, canyons, arches, and kelp.. something for everyone.