I want to thank Keira Armstrong for sharing her experience at the Fitzgerald Tidepools with us today. She’s the Berkeley mother of two elementary-school-aged boys.
The Fitzgerald tide pools are are really accessible (only 1 hour drive from Berkeley with normal traffic), parking is easy and access to the beach is relatively easy for all ages. You can get to neat tide pools a very short walk from the car for families with small children.
Here are my been-there-done-that tips for your family:
- The lower the tide, the better. Plan your visit during a zero or minus tide to see the most marine life. We saw, sea stars, urchins, anemones, tiny octopus, crabs, fish, and harbor seals during our visit.
- Geek out. The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve website has a ton of information so you can geek out as much as you want beforehand with printables for your kids like tide zone guides and self-guided brochures: www.fitzgeraldreserve.org
- Beach open? If you have a bit more stamina you can walk down the beach when it is open (it was closed while we were there because of baby harbor seals) to a beautiful sandy beach below the Moss Beach Distillery.
- Beach closed? When the beach passage is closed, there is a pretty bluff hike you can take from the parking area to access Moss Beach from the other side. When the tide is low, there are tide pools all along this cove.
It is a fun trip, winter or summer, just dress accordingly.
Where is it?
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is located in Moss Beach, CA, about 40 minutes south of San Francisco on Highway 1, just 15 minutes north of the city of Half Moon Bay.
- Tide charts to find the lowest tides.
- Other stuff to do near Moss Beach (including places to stay, eat, and play with toddlers)
[All photos provided by Keira Armstrong, all rights reserved]