Dana Point Tide Pools

This week my family and I decided on  an impromptu road trip. The plan was to drive south towards San Diego and stop along the way. One fun stop was  in Dana Point where we ventured out to the tide pools. 

The tide pools in Dana Point are located by the Ocean Institute, an education center located by the beach. We parked the car and walked past the Ocean Institute. 

At this viewpoint you could see the beach covered in rocks of different sizes and shapes. The view from this area of the harbor was immaculate; the water was so pretty, and the occasional squadron of pelicans made it even more picturesque. 

We descended a fenced staircase and reached a small beach with a huge rocky cliff. We walked across the beach and to reach a path through rocks and boulders on the beach. We trekked the rocky path that wrapped around the harbor and reached a point where the water was pooling between the rocks.

The sun was beating down on us, but the cool breeze and waters from the Pacific Ocean cooled us down. We dipped our feet in the chilly water for comfort and to further explore the tide pools.  Finally we spotted two red crabs hiding between rocks.  We didn’t spot many sea creatures because of the high tide.   

We did not go to the Ocean Institute itself, but the beach around it is definitely something to add to your list of destinations for a casual beach day, or a little adventure. If you want to find sea creatures, plan to visit during low tide.

My family and I intend on returning to Dana Point with a planned road trip in order to get the full experience of the Dana Point Harbor, which includes paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, and relaxing on the beach. 

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