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San Diego is known for its long sandy beaches. The La Jolla district is one of the city’s exceptions as it has a rugged irregular shoreline dotted with small coves and rocky points. Many of the small beaches along this shoreline have tide pools that are exposed at lower tides.

Most of the coastal access points between Tourmaline Surf Park and La Jolla Shores have some tidepooling spots, but the best known and most photographed area is between Whispering Sands Beach and Hospital Beach. Another massive tide pooling spot can be found by walking south from La Jolla Shores toward La Jolla Caves.

Kids will truly enjoy all the sea life discoveries at these places. Some are easier to access than others so read our beach pages to see how kid-friendly they are.

Tidepooling at La Jolla Cove

Check tide charts if you plan to find tide pools as they are all best at low tides. Also, be careful where you step when you are exploring them. Some of these little critters blend into the rocks and are quite hard to see. Other creatures are vibrant colors and beg for photographs.

See the map above and the list below of the best tide pools in La Jolla.

La Jolla tide pools at sunset

Beaches on this map

  • La Jolla Caves Beach

    La Jolla Caves Beach is a hidden rocky beach between La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores Beach. During low tides you can walk here from La Jolla Shores, but […]

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  • La Jolla Cove Beach

    La Jolla Cove Beach is located at the northeast end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla. This beach is protected by a rocky point which blocks waves rolling […]

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  • Shell Beach

    Shell Beach in La Jolla is located at the south end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park. At this spot there is long set of stairs that takes you from the […]

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  • Hospital Beach

    Hospital Beach, aka “Hospitals,” is located along Coast Boulevard in La Jolla. There is a narrow grass strip on the bluff above this point called Coast Boulevard Park. Hospital Point […]

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  • Whispering Sands Beach

    Whispering Sands Beach is a city beach located at the north end of Marine Street Beach in La Jolla. This area is sometimes referred to as Nicholson Point Park even though […]

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  • Marine Street Beach

    Marine Street Beach is a sandy beach in La Jolla located at the west end of Marine Street and Sea Lane. The north end of the beach has apartments towering […]

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  • Windansea Beach

    Windansea Beach is below Neptune Place in La Jolla at the west end of Westbourne, Nautilus, and Bonair Streets. The name is a shortened version of “Wind-and-Sea” and comes from […]

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  • Camino De La Costa Beach Access

    Camino De La Costa Beach Access is located on Camino de la Costa just north of Bird Rock in southern La Jolla. At a sharp bend in the road there […]

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  • Bird Rock Beach

    Bird Rock Beach is a rocky shoreline with a view of Bird Rock in the southern part of La Jolla. This area is known for tidepool exploration at low tide […]

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  • Calumet Park Beach

    Calumet Park is a small neighborhood park in south La Jolla on Calumet Avenue just south of Midway Street. The beach below Calumet Park is rocky and lacks a nice […]

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  • Linda Way Beach Access

    Linda Way Beach Access is below Sea Ridge Drive at the Linda Way intersection in southern La Jolla. The ramp and stairs at this location take you down to a […]

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