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Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, Moss Beach

(140 reviews on the web)
Beach Wildlife Area
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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  • We loved seeing the seals on the beach and felt that the locals had worked hard to protect such a precious place for wildlife. We had a relaxing and interesting visit.  more »
  • We live just around the corner from the Reserve and have been here for 45 years. It's a great place for kids (and adults) to see the marine life in these tide pools. It's a very popular place for scho...  more »
  • This is a great time to visit Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, there can be lots to see on the rocks. One of my friends is not a walker, so the convenient parking made this an excellent place for a her to g...  more »
  • Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a beautiful beach/park. I went to this reserve with a school class. The rangers have incredible respect for nature, wonderful knowledge, and work with children well. We had the opportunity to see seals, urchins, sea anemone, and many other sea critters as we went tide pooling! The only negative is that it is hard to find this location. There is no sign indicating that the park exists at the street entrance, so you need to make sure you're looking for the street sign of Vermont Ave. Overall this is a fantastic location to take kids and family.
  • You get the best of both worlds here. Walk through a forest of trees, hangout at the tidepools, or walk along the beach. Pbb one of our favorite spots to hangout at! I even had my engagement pictures here!!
  • Only marine reserve in the bay area 100% free and a great tourist spot, rangers are very friendly and knowledgable and keep the reserve very clean
  • Great place to go see little marine creatures and occasionally seals. Check out the tide schedule on their site to plan your visit; lowest/negative tide is best. There's also a very pretty 15-20min hike up the coast to the Moss Beach Distillery (call ahead to reserve a table with a view, it gets busy at lunch time)
  • Simply breathtaking! What a large and spacious feeling small park! The many paths will all loop back around and give you constantly great scenes. What a place to be able to appreciate!