northern california tide pools

June 18th, 2010

We’ve been suffering through heatwave after heatwave out here in the northwest driving us to the ocean for relief from the sweltering 75 degree heat. A few weekends ago, this brought us to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, just north of Half Moon Bay in Moss Beach.

At low tide, the tide pools are vast and it is worthwhile to get a map. We also invested in a laminated sheet of local life forms as the kids are old enough to enjoy checking off what they spot.

Although these guys were in our way – you aren’t allowed within 300 feet of one, and they just had to camp where all the star fish usually hang out – we were able to find quite a lot of great sea life.


I learned a few things from the kids. First, Sea Sacs, that bubble-like kelp is fun to squeeze. And, if you stick your finger into a closed sea anemone, it will suck your finger in. If you jab your solid 3-year-old finger into one, it will squirt water out at you. This is great fun for a 3-year-old.

After the tide pools, we headed to a frolic-friendly beach.

Some of us went straight from beach into the bath.