Many of the rockier San Diego beaches are home to tide pools, which catch the waves as the tide goes in. Rather than containing little more than seafoam, these tide pools are typically teeming with sea creatures of all sizes. You might see common marine life like snails and clams, or more unusual finds like lobsters and octopi.
Tide pools offer a great educational experience for kids while also being entertaining for adults. Thanks to San Diego’s consistent warm weather, it’s easy to spend the day alternating between peering into the tide pools and enjoying other beachside activities like surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and more.
If you’re planning on heading into the ocean for these activities, consider buying a Go San Diego pass, which offers discounts on gear rentals and lessons. You can also save on nearby attractions like the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, where you can learn more about the sea creatures you find in the tide pools! Enjoy an additional discount when you buy your pass through our website.
While the tide pools offer a unique look into the lives of sea creatures, there are some important etiquette rules to keep in mind so you don’t disturb the ecosystem.
Leave everything as you found it, and never remove anything from the tide pools intending to take it home or transport it to another beach. Avoid pulling starfish and other creatures off rocks as you could damage them, but it’s okay to gently touch or hold free-floating animals as long as you are careful. Also, don’t step into the tide pools or leave garbage in the area.
As long as you observe these rules, you’re free to have a fun experience with kids of all ages at any of the following best tide pool beaches!