San Pedro



Dive Site

Beach Access

What You'll See


Emergency #'s









  Beach Access is about as easy as it gets.  From the Parking Area shown in the Bottom Right picture below as (B), make the short, easy, level walk to the Beach.  Entering from the area close to the Parking lot is as good as any along the stretch of Beach.  Also Shown as (A) is the Lifeguard Station for Reference.

  Entry is easy with sandy bottom along the shallows (I have yet to encounter a single Rock along the entry path).  Surf is also relatively calm on most Days, averaging 1-2 foot or less, making this an ideal beginning Diver Beach Location.

Road-Side Sign Showing Entry Point

Guard Shack at Top of Hill

Cabrillo Beach Sign on Route to Parking

Really Ideal and Easy Beach Access


  Pictures at right Show surf on a "Rougher" Day breaking at about 2-3 Feet.  These Pictures were Taken when on the Same Day Surf was 4-6 Feet at Redondo Beach.

  Cabrillo Beach offers Great Facilities, Parking and Beach Access.  So why is this Beach not Swarming with Divers Every Weekend?  We'll, to be honest, the Dive Site is not what is normally considered a "Wow" Dive Spot by the Average Diver. 

  However, in defense of Cabrillo Beach, it does offer many Unique things that do make it a worthwhile Dive Spot. 

  • The amenities are fantastic
  • It offers Sea Life you'll likely not see at other Beach Sites
  • It has Very Easy Access from the Parking Area
  • Beach Entry on Calm Surf Days is as Easy as it gets
  • The Ocean Floor is Sandy and easy to Navigate
  • The Depth is 25 Feet or less-even 150 yards out, making it ideal for Beginning Classes

Beach Area looking East

Easy Entry - This is a "Rough Day"

A-Entrance, B-Parking, C-Best Entry, D-Lifeguard Building, E-Bath House, F-Aquarium Parking, G-Harbor Beach

Picture Courtesy of Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman © 2002-2005 California Coastal Records Project

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  If you look beyond the Sandy Bottom and Shallow, unchanging Floor of the Dive Site, you will find some Hidden Treasures Unique to this Beach.

  Cabrillo Beach is home to relatively Large "Sand Dollar" Beds a short Distance off Shore that are a Rare find at any dive spot on the Coast.  The Cabrillo Aquarium  asks Divers to Respect the Beds and only "Look - Do not Touch".  Shown at Right is a "Dead" Sand Dollar (Courtesy of NOAA) - the ones in the Bed are Live!  The spot also offers an assortment of small goodies to keep divers occupied.

  A Night Dive 3-4 nights after the new and full moon from March through August may yield an Underwater View of the “Grunion Run?” Yes, they do exist, but it's no wonder people think Grunion runs are some version of Viewing “submarine races!” These small fish wash themselves up on the beach during the Run - Imagine an Underwater View of this!

Cabrillo Beach is a Hidden Treasure and well worth a look.

Sand Dollar Beds are Unique to Cabrillo Beach (Shown is not "Live")

Yes, Grunion do Exist

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  Cabrillo Beach has Really Nice Facilities.  You've got to hand it to the City of San Pedro, they really do a good job on making the Beaches Diver Friendly.

  Parking here is normally plentiful, the Beach is Big, there are Fire Pits on the "Pacific Side" of the Beach, Hibachi style BBQ Grills on the "Harbor Side" in the Main Picnic Area, Rinse Showers, and nice big Bathrooms at either end of the Bath House (With those nice Stainless Toilets you appreciate a little less on a cold day).

(2) Beach-Side Showers are Located near the "Bath House"

Bath House - Men's Bath Entrance (Ladies is Opposite Side of Building)

Picnic Area on Harbor Side of Beach Complete with BBQ's

Fire Pits and Inviting Beach against the "Hill Side" of the Beach

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PARKING (Updated 04-18-07)
  Parking is normally plentiful - even on weekends.

  Parking Fees here are Seasonal.

  • October to May ----$1 per Hour for up to $7 Maximum (Friday though Monday)
  • June to September ----$1 per Hour for up to $9 Maximum (Every Day)
  • A FREE grace period of less than 20 minutes has also been added

  From The Parking Shack you'll head in and come to a Fork just Beyond the Grassy Area with the big Statue.  Veer to the Right to Head for Beach Dive Parking.  If you go left you'll enter the Parking Lot for the Cabrillo Aquarium.

  You'll be on a 150 Yard access road that Runs Parallel to the Beach you'll be Diving (On your Right).  Go Until you get to the Parking Area on Your Right Past the Lifeguard Building and Park.

View of Entrance & Guard Shack from Stephen White Drive

Cabrillo Guard Shack on Approach

Veer to the Right after Passing Statue

Park in Lot Past Lifeguard Building

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Take 110 Freeway South Until it Ends on "Gaffey Street" in San Pedro
Exit Left onto Gaffey Street
Follow Gaffey Street 22 Blocks to 22nd Street and Turn Left onto 22nd
Follow 22nd Street two Blocks to Pacific Avenue (Pacific Wilderness is at 17th & Pacific)

Turn Right onto Pacific Avenue and Travel to "36th Street / Stephen White Drive" -  You'll See the Sign Below at the Intersection.

 Turn Left onto Stephen White Drive and Follow it 1/4 Mile to the "Cabrillo Beach" Entrance   You'll See A Guard Shack .

Pay for Parking if the Shack is open and Proceed Down -  You'll Veer to the Right where the Road splits.  (Left goes to the Cabrillo Aquarium Parking Lot and Boat Launch Area).

Follow the Access Road to the Next Parking lot on your Right - Just past the Lifeguard Tower and Park in there.


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Emergency Assistance:

Recompression Chambers:


--911 (Dial First) CATALINA ISLAND --(310) 510-1053


--(919) 684-8111 NORTHRIDGE --(818) 885-8500
HARBOR PATROL --(310) 318-0632 SANTA ANA --(714) 973-8777
LIFEGUARDS --(310) 372-2162 LOS ROBLES --(805) 497-2727
FIRE --(310) 379-5416
POLICE --(310) 318-0618

DAN  (Medical Questions)

--(919) 684-2948



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