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Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve, Moss Beach
(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.
Work out when and for how long to visit Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve and other Moss Beach attractions using our handy Moss Beach travel itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It's been three times, check on tides first so you can wander out among urchins and near the seals. Beautiful area, great for young kids, don't forget to go to bluff above area, great trail through my...  more »
  • 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 ...  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...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful location best seen at sunrise. As the temperature quickly changes, a light fog forms off the sea and creates a gorgeous Tindal effect as light passes through the Cypress trees. It's a great place to bring the family for a picnic, or your partner for a romantic stroll. A wonderful location for portraits and photoshoots.
  • 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.
  • Scenic, and when the waters recede you could see a lot of what lives underwater. Seals are a common sight.
  • 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.