Abalone Cove Tide Pools: SoCal Family Adventures
With summer upon us, I want nothing more than to soak up the richness of these childhoods, build our family legacy and take as many adventures – whether near or far – as possible with them. I want to show them cool things, expose them to nature and, on this particular day, we accomplished both while at the Abalone Cove Tide Pools in Rancho Palos Verde in Southern California.
Although I’ve been here as a kid, it’s been a long time since I trekked the rocky beach. Luckily, I met this awesome dad and the blogger at Day Trips LA, Ralph. His post on the Abalone Cove Shoreline Park was outstanding and really helped me prepare for our fun adventure. It’s such a great resource site, so definitely check it out!
LA Day Trip: SoCal’s Abalone Cove Tide Pools
The Abalone Cove tide pools are part of the Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve, a 64-acre reserve featuring great views, a number of short trails, two beaches, and important natural marine resources. The tide pools are located at the base of Portuguese Point, the most prominent feature in the reserve.
Situated in Rancho Palos Verdes (5970 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275), the drive is easy and the park easy to find. Parking is $5 in a gated area. You’ll hike for about 10-20 minutes before reaching the tide pools. You’ll also have to either walk along a stretch of rocks, or head back up the mountain trail, before reaching the tide pools. If you have weak ankles, take care!
Building Family Legacy Through Exploration
My kids loved Abalone Cove Park and tide pools, but Sebastian especially had an amazing experience. As the above post points out, you should make sure that you’re going during low tide. Taking that extra precaution meant we got to see some beautiful marine life during our trip. From sea urchins to crabs and snails, my kids were amazed at the amount of life taking place underneath the ocean’s surface level.
Tips for Kids at Abalone Cove Tide Pools
Definitely wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and muddy. Take one backpack or sack and no more. There is no food or drinks around, so pack a light picnic to enjoy lunch by the tide pools. I took my big (brand new) Mark III and, now that I think about it, I probably shouldn’t have. Be warned: you will get splashed by the tide and waves, you’ll might want to do some light climbing and small kids will need your help. Next time we go, I’ll be completely hands free and without a bulky DSLR (although I love these images! Isn’t it a catch 22?!)
We brought a small container to put the animals in for observation, but didn’t use it. The tide was low enough to allow us to observe the marine life right where it was.
Tight As A Clam Shell
As with all our adventures, I love to watch the true meaning of siblings unfold between these two souls. Our family legacy is nothing without them. Especially on this adventure, my boy and girl became a team. Where one kid wouldn’t touch an animal, the other did. If one was too small to lift himself up, his older sibling found a way to stay together. One’s experience was felt by the other, and as a legacy mom, I just couldn’t get enough…. watching them together – tight as clam shells – was the best thing on earth.
We loved Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and the opportunities to explore it’s tide pools. It’s not far from the rest of Southern California attractions, although secluded enough to make you feel like you’ve left the hustle of the city behind you.