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Tide Pools Guide

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Tidepools Guide

The coastline of California is an ideal escape for nature lovers. Something that makes the coastline unique is the multitude of tide pools that give a sneak peek into a magnificent world of marine wonders. Here are a few you can visit this summer.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Carmel:

Often referred to as “The crown jewel of the California State Park System.” The crystal clear pools host a variety of life, from colorful sea stars to sea anemones and tiny crabs. Grab your camera to capture the breathtaking coastal scenery and a diverse range of marine life.

  • Hours: 8 am - 7 pm; Last entry at 6:30 pm

  • Location: Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Go HERE for more information.

Dana Point Marine Protected Area, Orange County:

This protected area located in Southern California boasts an array of marine creatures, including hermit crabs, and small octopuses in addition to underwater life like kelp forests and rocky reefs. Dana Point MPA is sure to be a favorite for scuba divers.

  • Location: Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area, Dana Point, CA 92629

Go HERE for more information.

La Jolla Cove, San Diego:

Get your scuba and snorkeling gear on to explore this picturesque location during low tide. You just might spy playful dolphins and colorful fish that call these tide pools their home.

  • Location: 1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037

Go HERE for more information.

Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz:

Discover an enchanting display of marine life at the Natural Bridges State Bridge tide pools. Be sure to plan your visit during low tide for the best experience.

  • Hours: 8 am to Sunset

  • Location: 2531 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Go HERE for more information.

Before you plan your trip to explore the tide pools of the golden state, check out these important guidelines:

  • It is often best to visit the pools during the fall and winter (October through March), during low tide, and in the daytime when the water is usually clear.

  • Take comfy shoes that won’t slip on the slick rocks to prevent injuries. Check out your daily weather forecast for specific details e.g if you need a light jacket.

  • Don’t forget sunscreen.

  • Never touch or pick up marine life, not even rocks or seashells to preserve the delicate ecosystem.

Always treat the tide pools with the respect they deserve, and leave these habitats undisturbed for generations to come.


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