Exploring Tide Pools in San Diego

San Diego is full of natural beauty, but one of the most beautiful sights, especially during low tide, is the natural tide pools that can be found here. Whether you’re a photographer, a beach lover, or simply love to explore nature with loved ones or family, San Diego’s tide pools are a must-see. Here you can learn what they are, as well as where and when the best times to find these tide pools might be. You’ll also learn what not to do during tide pools, as these are very precarious natural ecosystems.

What Are Tide Pools?

Tide pools are shallow pools of ocean water in between rocky shores that are exposed during low tide. In fact, at low tide, they technically form their own bodies of water, as well as their own ecosystems. These are “intertidal ecosystems.” They exist only at low tide, becoming fully submerged in water during high tide and even during heavy storms. In the high tide zone of the tide pool, you may find seaweed, starfish, crabs, and anemones, just to name a few. In the low-tide zone, there’s more ecological diversity: mussels, limpets, and even some fish live in these areas. Varieties of algae also often grow here.

When To Visit Tide Pools

You want to visit tide pools during low tide, since that’s when they’ll be exposed. However, you don’t want to have to go at night and miss most of the natural scenery. The solution, then, is to visit tide pools between November and March, when the tide is low during the day. This way you’ll have enough natural light to see everything without the risk of the area becoming submerged.

Where to Find Tide Pools in San Diego

Tide pools can be found throughout San Diego’s shores, in parks like Sunset Cliffs Natural Park or in Aquariums and marine parks. In La Jolla, you can find tide pools full of hermit crabs, star fish, and sea anemones by visiting Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute. There are also the Dike Rock Tide Pools that are a part of La Jolla’s Underwater Marine Park. If you choose to venture out further, you can find tide pools in the famous park, Cabrillo National Monument, particularly in the Southern end of the park. Here you may even find octopi. There are also easy to access tidepools at Cardiff State Beach.

Warnings About Tide Pools

Tide pools are a beautiful thing to explore, but again, make sure to be very careful when exploring them. Tread lightly so as not to disturb any of the natural ecosystem. These are rocky, slick areas, so you’ll want to bring shoes with good traction for your own protection. Never take anything native to a tide pool from its natural habitat or throw any of the living organisms within a tide pool. If you have kids with you, make sure to teach them to respect the wildlife as well.

To get started exploring tide pools in San Diego and La Jolla, book a room with The Bed & Breakfast Inn at La Jolla. We’ll price match your room if you book directly and even add a 5% discount.

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