Monastery Beach near Point Lobos is the best shore dive site in the Monterey area. It is about a 15-minute car ride south of Monterey. Note: the entry and exit is treacherous and has injured very experienced divers. This beach has spawned the infamous "Monastery Crawl" that we teach to new divers in the Open Water class. If you dive here, you should dive only with an experienced diver who knows the site and the entry/exit procedures. I have seen whales, dolphins, sharks, sea lions on this dive. There is a great kelp forest on the north side. About 300 yards offshore, the depths drop into the Monterey Channel.