Exploring Tide Pools at Point Fermin State Marine Park

Oct 05, 2010 by Guest Post

My family loves to enjoy time together exploring nature outdoors. With two young kids ages 6 and 2 ½, we’re always on the lookout for new places to explore. You might be surprised how many wonderful gems there are right here in Los Angeles.

Case in point: Point Fermin State Marine Park.

Never heard of it? Point Fermin is located within Cabrillo Beach Park, which has many places to experience nature, including the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, a coastal native plant garden and a salt marsh.

The tide pools at Point Fermin are home to all different types of marine plants and animals. During our visit, we saw all kinds of sea crabs, chitons, muscles, sea urchin shells, seaweed and much more that local ocean life in the tidepools. For free of course!

Our recent visit was shared with other members of a family nature club I started earlier this summer. Through our club, we hope to show people how easy (and fun!) it is to get kids outside exploring nature – even in Los Angeles, where it’s vital that they learn more to life than crowded roads and other big city distractions.

Our trip to Point Fermin didn’t disappoint.

Our Notes From the Field

The toughest part about tide pooling is timing your visit just right. We scheduled our excursion during low tide, which makes the marine life much more accessible. (You can check Point Fermin’s tides here.)

The path from the Cabrillo Beach Park to the tide pools is a short, flat walk, but once we got there, we realized we were in for some serious rock hopping to reach the pools.

It took us a few minutes to get used to maneuvering, but once we did, we moved quickly. As soon as we reached an area with some water trapped in it, we all stopped to take a look.

There are also kelp beds teeming with sea life.

I never thought seaweed could look so beautiful!

While my oldest was most thrilled by his discovery of this huge sea slug,

he was pretty proud of finding this chiton, too.

That’s part of what makes tide pooling so much fun. It’s a real-life nature treasure hunt. And everyone discovers something.

Even our youngest found plenty of creatures small enough for him to grab.

I encouraged the kids to touch their discoveries carefully, but leave everything where they found it. We explored the tide pools for almost about an hour and a half, moving from one pool to another, taking care to stop and peek inside to see what we could discover in each one.

What better way to pass an afternoon than being outdoors exploring nature with family and friends?

Planning Your Visit

  • Time your visit during a low tide (check the tides at Point Fermin here)
  • Parking is free for 20 minutes, then costs $1 per hour with a maximum of $9 per day; cash only
  • The tide pools are not a stroller-friendly spot, so wear comfortable shoes & be prepared to maneuver over some rocks
  • Practice sun safety – wear a hat and sunscreen and bring along plenty of water
  • If you’ve got a little explorer–3 years old or younger–bring along an extra set of hands
  • There are no food services available at the park, although there are ample picnic tables available for use
  • There are no restrooms at the tide pool areas (the closest is at the nearby Southern California Bathhouse)

Point Fermin State Marine Park is just steps from Cabrillo Beach Park at:

3720 Stephen M. White Drive
San Pedro, CA 90731
Directions to Point Fermin State Marine Park

Debi Huang is a Los Angeles-based wife, mom and adventure guide for two young boys. Her blog at Go Explore Nature is all about getting kids and families outdoors and connecting then with nature. For more information about her family nature club adventures, send her an email at tdj2004 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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2 Responses to “Exploring Tide Pools at Point Fermin State Marine Park”

  1. Thomas says:

    Very Awesome!! Tide pools are are a great place to find all sorts of goodies and kids love them. Love the pics!
    Thomas´s last blog ..Free Admission to Bailey Matthews Shell Museum! My ComLuv Profile

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  2. Ian says:

    That is a very wonderful exposure for the kids. I believe giving them a chance to explore nature is a big thing. It really helps a lot in their mental development and of course the bonding moments make it more fun.

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