Waves of Fun at California Tide Pools

Connor mentioned to me one day that he wanted to go to the tide pools in California. Since we were going to be heading out to Disneyland, I decided to look up the tide pools to see if there were any close by Anaheim. I ended up finding some on Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium also offers guided tide pool walks so I figured that was our best bet. We drove in from Blythe, California and had just enough time for a quick lunch before the tide pool walk.

Before the walk, we gathered in an auditorium at the aquarium and learned the rules for the tide pool walk along with what causes the tide pools and what animals we might find. The boys were already familiar with the animals and knew all about them so they were excited. Once they had told us everything we needed to know, it was time to head out to the tide pools.

Following the guide out to the tide pools.

Once we got out to the tide pools we were free to explore and the guide was there to answer any questions.

The first animals the boys came across were hermit crabs. We found these little guys everywhere; there were tons of them.

The guide even found one that didn’t have a home.

The boys were most excited about finding sea hares. The first sea hare they found was a black one which they were really excited about because the black sea hares are rarer to find. They also found several brown sea hares. We really loved the sea hares. They’re super cute and the boys loved petting them. The brown ones do squirt ink so they have to be handled very gently so that they don’t get startled.

Can you find the brown sea hare in the bottom right picture? The brown ones are camouflaged pretty well. The black sea hares stand out more.

We also found a couple of sea anemones and a sea urchin. The boys really liked these as well. They liked the sticky feeling of the sea anemones. The sea urchin they found was a red one and the guide told us that the reds were rare. She said they usually only sea purple ones.

Besides those animals above, we also found a chiton and what I think are limpets.

The chiton is in the picture to the left.

There was one more animal we found and it was a really difficult one to find. It’s a tiny fish called a sculpin. JT and I kept missing them because they swim away really quickly but Connor was really good at finding them. I finally managed to get a picture of one that stopped on a rock for a few seconds.

We stayed at the tide pool for about an hour and had so much fun. The boys wanted to stay longer but it was almost time for the high tide to come in.

I’m so happy that Connor mentioned the tide pools because it was absolutely amazing and we loved it. If you have a chance to visit the tide pools you should definitely go. It is well worth it. We had the best time and the guides from the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium are also great. Connor especially loved talking with the guide and showing her the animals he found.

Have you ever visited tide pools?

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