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Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, Moss Beach

Categories: Beaches, Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and its tidepools are part of a San Mateo County Park located in Moss Beach, CA, about 40 minutes south of San Francisco.

The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve tidepools are one of the most beautiful and easily accessible natural wonders of the Northern California coast.

Recently designated a Marine Protected Area, the rocky shore of the reserve becomes an outdoor classroom at low tide, allowing explorers of all ages to marvel at the diversity of marine life and learn more about protecting the ocean and its inhabitants. On any given day visitors may see sea urchins, sea stars, harbor seals, various mollusks, and even the elusive red octopus. Learn more about visiting Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

The tidepools and their creatures are cared for by San Mateo County Parks staff and a non-profit organization called the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (FFMR) trains volunteer naturalists who share their wealth of knowledge with students, teachers, and visitors. Visitors can help take care of the tidepools, too — by observing the Good Tidepooler Rules of Conduct.
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  • Low tide during our visits were not exceptionally low (best for viewing ≤ 1 foot). But plenty of critters to see in the tide pools. Hermit crabs, anemones small fishes, etc. Look for ward to our next ...  read more »
  • Bring a chair and sit by the beach and watch the tides. Bring jacket too as it can be cold and windy even during summer. Great views of the ocean and very relaxing. We had a hard time finding it using...  read more »
  • Planned out the outing and made sure to arrive at low tide and encountered some great little critters along with a whole family of Harbor seals resting on the beach. All in all a great experience. 
  • My favorite place in the Bay Area! Be sure to check out the tides before going so you can go to the tide pools. The best tide pools are near the sea grass planes (those are not the one near the parking lots). In addition, If you come when the tide is coming in, you can see the seals coming in with the tide! It feels like you are inside of a wildlife documentary. Also, great place for a picnic, or just chilling by the beach. Emphasis on the chilling, since it is pretty chilly even in the summer.
  • Great spot for the tide pools. Make sure you check the tide tables for the lowest possible time to get out far to see the deeper pools its worth it to see more creatures.
  • awesome place to spend the day. Go early to secure a parking spot as it can become quite crowded on weekends and there is limited parking. Additionally, nice hike south from the reserve along the cliffs. At low tide plenty to explore along the beach / tide pools. Lots of seal activity. Would most certainly recommend.
  • What an awesome hidden gem away from the hustle and bustle of HMB. Great destination for families with convenient parking & bathrooms just a short walk from a fun tide pool beach. Kids freak out as you see anemone, star fish, rock fish, and tons of tiny creeping sea snails & hermit crabs. Take a quick hike around the bluff through a breathtaking shade forest to a fantastic, non-crowded beach. An awesome stop for a day with the kids!
  • Great place to see tide pools. Kids love this place. Check tide levels before coming. Best to come at low tide, especially if it's really low (negative height in the forecast). Parking is crowded on weekends.
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