in Northern California
Northern California has beautiful conditions for freediving.

Deep calm lakes for those who are into freediving for healing and meditation, and the wild Pacific Ocean for those who want to swim with seals, forage for uni and catch ling cod.

Below are some of best spots to freedive in Northern California.
Lake Berryessa
The best place in Northern California for freediving practice.
Lake Berryessa
Lake Berryessa is the best place in Northern California for freediving practice. It has 70m of depth and is very calm, with no currents or swell. The temperature ranges from 27C in summer to 10C in winter. Below the top layer, visibility is usually very good.

There are some underwater attractions, like wrecks of cars that have plunged from the cliff road above, and spearing for bass and trout is possible, but the main draw of this spot is warm, calm access to deep freediving. This spot was only discovered in 2017.
Want to improve your freediving?
Join our Regular Classes at Lake Berryessa.
Monastery Beach
The deepest kelp forest in Northern California.
Monastery Beach
Monastery Beach is home to the deepest kelp forest in Northern California. Up to a hundred feet deep in places, it hosts scores of fish species, with occasional sightings of dolphins and orcas. Next to the forest, a finger of an underwater canyon stretches into shore, beckoning freedivers with its infinite depth.

This is a popular spot for intermediate and advanced freedivers. Exposed to the ocean swell, risks include seasickness and the sharp beach break, but on a good visibility day, the sunlight filtering down through the kelp forest is magical.
Lake Tahoe
A beautiful spot for summer freediving.
Meeks Bay, Lake Tahoe
Nestled like a molten jewel in the Sierra mountain range, Lake Tahoe has incredibly clear and deep water close to shore.

Great freediving spots around the lake include Rubicon Point, Emerald Bay, Sand Harbor, William Kent beach and Dollar Point.

The best spot of all is Meeks Bay, with camping facilities, a sandy beach and 90m+ of depth a short swim from shore.

This is a summer spot only: as fall approaches, temperatures drop towards freezing.
San Carlos beach
Best spot to see marine mammals.
Monterey Bay
Nestled in the east-facing arm of the Monterey Bay, San Carlos beach is perfectly protected from ocean swell and usually as calm as a lake, making it a popular spot for beginner ocean freediving classes.

With commercial and recreational fishing prohibited, San Carlos is teeming with marine life. The kelp forests are thick and healthy here, sheltering scores of fish and invertebrate species, which in turn keep the sea lions, seals and otters who live here well fed.

Common sights include families of otters playing in the kelp, groups of sea lions breaching the surface in unison as they head home from a successful day’s hunting, and maybe a seal directly underneath you, playing with your fins.
Want to freedive at San Carlos beach?
Take a California Coast Freediving class.
Horseshoe Bay
A "double diamond" spot next to San Francisco.
Horseshoe Bay
Only discovered in 2021, this spot is very challenging and still being established. Boat traffic, low visibility and strong underwater currents mandate safety precautions like lanyards and a buoy.

Despite the risks, however, this is a gorgeous spot to freedive, with the Golden Gate bridge on one side and the city of San Francisco on the other. It is common to see friendly seals, the fins of shy harbor dolphins, and flocks of pelicans skimming low overhead.

Our efforts to freedive in this spot, including hosting world champion freediver Alexey Molchanov, have been the subject of a front page article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Salt Point
Best spot for foraging.
Salt Point
Salt Point is a wild, windswept expanse of tall grass and pine copses on the northern Sonoma coast, and the rocky bays here are perfect for foraging. Schools of blue and black rockfish will approach you inquisitively, and the kelp forests are recovering from their depredations by urchins. The shoreline is exposed to swell, but the rocky bottom mostly prevents surf breaks, making entry and exit in the right places easier than expected.

While not preparing ceviche and uni pasta from your catch, you can pick mushrooms, blackberries and bay leaves to add to your meal, check out some bouldering routes on the cliffs around (including a deep water solo!), and hike along ten miles of coastline to the north, usually without seeing anyone else.

This is a popular weekend camping spot for freedivers of all levels.