Crystal Cove

Touch the Tides: Best OC Tide Pools

One of the best parts about Orange County is the beautiful coastline and vast amount of sea life. One of our favorite family activities to do on a warm spring afternoon is to visit one of the many local tide pool locations in Orange County. According to Cheri Ikerd of OC Wildlife & Beach Tour Inc., a current trend of negative tides has caused an increase in sea stars and sea animals -- so now is the time to go tide pooling!

Though the best beaches to enjoy local tide pools are found in Laguna Beach, where you'll find the largest amount of sea life with the smallest crowds, here is a list of our favorite tide pool destinations throughout Orange County: 

PCH and Wesley Street, Laguna Beach
This is our top tide pool destination in Orange County. Located right below The Montage Resort, there is not just one, but two tide pool locations. There is a large tide pool area for families to explore the various sea life to the right of Treasure Island beach. The neighboring" Goff Cove, less than a hundred feet away, boasts another location for exploring tide pools. Goff Cove is also an incredible destination for snorkeling with a large variety of coral fish, lobsters and rays. The water is clear, and the waves are small for smaller children to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach. 
PCH between Laguna Beach and Newport Beach
Crystal Cove State Beach has a large area for exploring the tide pools. We recommend checking the surf report before visiting to see if there is a high tide, which means limited visibility in the tide pool area. Enjoy dining at the beachfront Beachcomber" Cafe that is just steps away from the tide pools, or rent a beach house at the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages." 
PCH and Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach
What we love about the tide pools along Main Beach is that there is a large variety of activities for families to enjoy. There is a fun beach park located on Main Beach for children, complete with swings and slides, plenty of boogie boarding fun in the killer waves and a popular ice cream shop on the corner. The tide pools are located right under the steps leading down from Las Brisas restaurant. " We highly recommend bringing water shoes to this location, as these tide pools are quite slippery and rough on the feet.
Corner of Ocean and Poppy, Corona del Mar
Little Corona is one of the most well-known and popular tide pool locations in Orange County, and thus the most populated. These tide pools are extremely busy on weekends, but really can offer people unique sea treasures to be enjoyed on a less popular weekday morning or afternoon.
Where in OC do you like to see the sea?