- Family Time
- Photo Ops
Explore the ocean without getting wet at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. Located in the small town of Moss Beach, this peaceful getaway includes beautiful views, hiking, and good food in addition to tide pools.
The star attraction is the 32 acre Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, which stretches 3 miles along the coast. Its tide pools are full of life and easily accessible at low tide. You can see crabs, colorful anemones, urchins, and sea stars. If you’re lucky, you might also see an elusive octopus. Remember to look but don’t touch, and follow the good tidepooler rules of conduct. Harbor seals are also a common sight on the beach and in the water.
Away from the beach, the reserve has a network of mellow trails in a cypress forest. The unusually shaped trees tend to bend in a way that creates a natural archway. In this environment, you might even welcome the fog, which adds a bit of magic to the scene.
After a day of tidepooling and hiking, dinner and drinks at nearby Moss Beach Distillery is a must-do. Enjoy fresh seafood on the patio or in a window seat overlooking the ocean, and as always, making reservations in advance will make your experience smoother.
Spend one half of the day exploring tide pools and the other half hiking. Cap it off with a dinner at Moss Beach Distillery. On Sunday, enjoy a brunch in Half Moon Bay or visit nearby beaches before you drive home.
Things to Do
When to Go
The key to enjoying the tide pools is to plan your trip around a low tide that’s one foot (1′) or less. Check a tide table before booking your trip. Low tides occur twice a day all year, but May through September is the best time to visit to avoid the rain.
The reserve is free to visit. Entrees at Moss Beach Distillery range from $16 burgers to $46 for filet mignon.