Tide Pools Around San Diego
Kids love to wander around the edge of the ocean exploring the little gems left behind by the sea. And living in and around San Diego means this activity can be enjoyed all year round. Here is a list of tide pool locations where children (and adults!) can experience the treasures of the ocean up close. Be sure to check the tide schedule before venturing out.
Swami’s State Beach Tide Pools Located in Encinitas along Highway 101, the tide pools are located at the bottom of the stairs where sea hares, brittle stars and hermit crabs hang out. There is a parking lot up top along with picnic tables.
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Beach After descending a fairly steep trail (wear good shoes for the trek), visitors are rewarded with little crabs, fish and sea anemones. Parking is available on the street.
Cardiff State Beach Between Cardiff and Solana Beach are easily accessible tide pools located near lifeguard tower #10. There are flat rocks to walk along and crevices that contain lots of tiny creatures. Added bonus activity: search the 45-million-year-old rocks for ancient fossils.
La Jolla Cove Finding these tide pools can be fun. Park along Coast Blvd and look for the stairs down to La Jolla Cove. Once down on the sandy area look for a small cove. Walk past it and around the point to the tide pools. Now you can examine limpets, anemones, hermit crabs, mussels and barnacles all in their natural habitat.
Shell Beach Also in La Jolla, park near the southern end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Look for a green hut and walk down the stairs. You’ll not just see hermit crabs, seagrasses and sea anemones, you’ll experience a good assortment of shells and maybe even see sea lions and seals.
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