Catalina Island, Los Angeles
Located at Casino POint there is a dive park exclusively for scuba divers. The area is bouyed off and no boats of any kind are allowed including kayaks. You can buy maps of the park or you can just explore on your own. In the park are plaques dedicated to Jacques Cousteau - the founder of modern scuba diving, a couple of sunken piers and some other goodies for you to find. There is also a resident Giant Sea Bass!
To get there ferries depart from Orange County in Newport Beach and Dana Point, while they depart from Los Angeles County in Long Beach, San Pedro, and Marina del Rey. The trip takes approximately an hour and costs approx $65 round trip. Helicopter service is also available from Long Beach or San Pedro
Equipment: You can rent tanks and weights right at Casino Point. There is a trailer set up to do air fills. Any other gear needs to be rented at one of the many dive shops in town.
There are lots of opportunities to take a day snorkel trip. Most boats you can sign onto from Dive Shops throughout the area. Most trips leave from either San Pedro or Ventura harbor and venture out towards Catalina or the Channel Islands.
Equipment: Equipment can be organized by the dive shop who organizes the trip. The only equipment really needed is beer for the return trip.