CIVR Blog: Catalina Island Casino Dive Park

09 Jul 14 Sherri Cline
10:47 am
Catalina Island is one of the best dive destinations in the USA

Catalina Island is one of the best dive destinations in the USA

In the shadow of the Catalina Casino Building is one of the most popular scuba diving spots in North America. The waters off the Casino Point Dive Park have been welcoming underwater explorers since before scuba diving was invented and today sees tens of thousands of dives each year.

In the early part of the 20th Century, the Catalina Diving Bell took intrepid tourists below the surface for a peek at Catalina’s fascinating marine life; as scuba became recreationally available, the waters off the Casino Breakwater became a popular spot to the take the plunge.

With depths ranging from 30 to more than 100 feet, the park is an ideal spot for new divers to have their first underwater experiences, but also offers enough marine life and challenges for even the most experienced diver. Very few days don’t see at least a few divers in the park, but its popularity can vary from just a few intrepid souls during the week in the winter to hundreds of divers on a busy summer weekend. The park is home to wide array of marine life, from fascinating octopus, menacing morays and brightly colored nudibranchs, to schools of baitfish, graceful bat rays and playful sea lions. Several wrecks dot the bottom and a plaque dedicated to ocean pioneer Jacques Cousteau inspires continued ocean exploration.

Air fills are available at the park and local dive shops offer both guided dives for certified divers and Experience Scuba adventures for those with no experience.

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