There is a tremendous variety of marine life in California, particularly in the kelp forests. We don't have quite as many pretty fish as tropical locales, but there's a much bigger variety of invertebrate life.
The water here tends to be on the colder side. 50 degrees in the winter, and up to 56-65 degrees in the summer. A 7mm wetsuit or drysuit is required, unless you're really manly (like the ex-navy seal I dove with once, who did the entire dive in a 3mm short wetsuit).
Check the conditions before you drive down.
- Pacific Grove
- Pebble Beach
- Point Lobos A state reserve south of Carmel with good kelp and easy entry