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Tide Pools are one of the biggest draws at California beaches and the Bay Area has it’s fair share of them. In fact, two of the best tide pools in California are just a short distance from San Francisco.

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, is just a 20 miles south (half-hour drive) from downtown and Duxbury Reef in Marin County is just 30 miles north (plan on an hour due to slow windy roads). Both of these locations have some incredible marine life in their pools. Just check tide tables and wait for low tide before you go (the lower the better).

Shore crab

San Francisco has few options within the city limits, but consider China Cove if you want something in town. If you are visiting or live in the South Bay Area, there are several other great options. See the map above or the list below for beaches in the Bay Area that have tide pools.

When you get to these tidepools, be careful where you step as many rocks are covered with living creatures. And don’t take anything but pictures!