Our family just moved back to the Bay Area at the beginning of January. This is the first time we’ve lived in the area with a kid – a toddler in fact, so it’s been fun to plan out activities that we can do as a family. This past Saturday, the weather was so perfect that we decided to take a day trip to Moss Beach at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve to explore the tide pools at low tide.
We checked to see what time the tide was out, and were happy to see that low tide was at 2:47pm! So right before lunch time we got in the car, and our son napped as we drove over the Bay Bridge and through San Francisco to make our way to Moss Beach. (We stopped at Safeway in Pacifica to grab some lunch for a picnic).
Upon arrival we were so surprised to see how many families with kids, babies and up, there were there. The rocks were safe for kids to walk on, there were also sandy beaches to play on, and a nice shaded area with picnic tables and restrooms. The best part was that is was free! No cost for parking (which was scarce) or to enter the reserve, though you can donate online.
We put Leo, our 2-year-old, into a backpack so that he could safely view the tide pools, too. He enjoyed watching the waves and the kids playing around him.
I was amazed at all the sea life we saw! Harbor seals, pelicans, sea urchins, sea anemones, thousands of hermit crabs, mussels, sea stars, kelp, and the longer you stared at a tide pool the more you saw! Here’s a field guide to the animals and plants that are found at Moss Beach.
It took about an hour to get to Moss Beach from Oakland, due to traffic on the bridge, but it was well worth the trip! This is a great spot for couples with newborns, as you can safely carry your baby while you explore the pools, but it’s also great if you have older kids cause not only is it a fun place, but it is an educational place.
Have you ever been to Moss Beach? What cool sea creatures did you see? Are there other beaches in the Bay Area that you recommend? Comment below and share!