Shaw’s Cove

Shaw’s Cove Beach
Shaw’s Cove

Though nearby Diver’s Cove has the strongest name association with SCUBA diving and snorkeling, Shaw’s Cove is where anyone in the know goes for underwater exploration. The swim-throughs and crevasses below the surface are second-to-none and the kelp beds are absolutely aglow with fish. Bright orange garibaldi and nocturnal spiny lobster are particularly abundant here, and easily viewable. 

The beach at Shaw’s Cove is nothing to scoff at. It’s a flat, long bit of sand, with great natural boundaries to the north and south. Those hungry to explore will have no shortage of adventures wandering along the rock shelf at the north end of the beach. The angle of the beach is well protected, too, considering how big it is. Translation: If the waves are big here, you can bet they are big just about everywhere else in town, too. 

Park along Cliff Drive and follow the stream of wetsuit-wearing divers down the Shaw’s Cove steps; even if you aren’t SCUBA-certified, you’ll be able to see plenty of sea life simply by throwing on a mask and snorkel. If ocean exploration isn’t for you, pack a picnic. With all of the focus here about going underwater, you can sometimes score the beach all to yourself, even in summer.


Divers walking out of the ocean, faces absolutely beaming, after an aquatic adventure.


Divers, families with small children, and tide pool fans.



  • Limited parking in surrounding neighborhood
  • Available metered parking along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)


  • Open year-round, 6am-10pm


Dogs must be on a leash that is 6’ or shorter, at all times.

  • June 15 – September 10
    • Dogs allowed BEFORE 9am and AFTER 6pm
  • September 11 – June 14
    • Dogs allowed during regular beach hours

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