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Tide tables and tide charts are essential for planning certain beach activities. Tide pools are best at low tide when the water level is low and the surf is typically calmer. Other unique features such as sea caves, rock arches, and even shipwrecks can be exposed at low tides. Some hidden beaches are inaccessible except at low tides and many beaches are completely wet at high tides.


The tide tables provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are the most accurate tidal forecasts available. However, we have found that their website is confusing and overwhelming due to the sheer number of measurement points and unfamiliar names. Many of them are far inside harbors, rivers, and bays, such as San Francisco Bay, and less accurate for the ocean beaches. So we have created the simplified list below. These are listed south to north.

San Diego & La Jolla

Orange County & Long Beach

Los Angeles & Santa Monica Bay

Catalina Island


Santa Barbara

San Luis Obispo County (Pismo, Avila, Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria)

Big Sur Coast

Monterey & Carmel

Santa Cruz

San Mateo Coast & Half Moon Bay

San Francisco Ocean Beaches

San Francisco Bay Beaches

Marin County & Point Reyes

Sonoma County & Bodega Bay

Mendocino County & Fort Bragg

Humboldt County & Eureka

Del Norte County & Crescent City