Friday, December 13, 2013

Cure Your Kids’ “I’m-So-Bored-Itis” this Holiday Break with a Trip to the Point Loma Tidepools!

by Kimberly Mann Bruch

If you are looking for a fun outdoor adventure for your children during their two-week holiday break, I’d highly recommend that you check out the tidepools located at the tip of Point Loma on a low-tide day/time. The tide depths are in parenthesis; because this is the time the tide starts to come back in, you should arrive 1-2 hours before this time so that you can park and walk down to the inter-tidal area before the water rolls in.

When to Go:
Sunday, December 29 – 1:15pm (-0.7 feet)
Monday, December 30 – 2pm (-1.2 feet)
Tuesday, December 31 – 2:35pm (-1.5 feet)
Wednesday, January 1 – 3:35pm (-1.9 feet)
Thursday, January 2 – 4pm (-1.8 feet)
Friday, January 3 – 4:50pm (-1.5 feet)

The tidepools area closes at 5pm, so be prepared to exit the area before the gates close.

What to Wear:
Check the weather before you head out as you may need a jacket. Make sure you wear shoes with a good grip as rocky areas can be slippery and be prepared if your feet get wet. And, don’t forget your sunscreen!

What to Do:
Have fun exploring the magnificent inter-tidal area! You will see an array of vegetation and sea creatures, but remember to respect the wildlife – don’t poke at things (use the two-finger-touch rule), don’t pull the creatures off the rocks, and don’t remove them from the water (without the help of a park ranger, of course).

What to Bring for Afterwards: 
Towel, spare clothes (just in case!), and some water (you might be thirsty after all that excitement!)

Before or After: 
Complete this fun worksheet prepared by the National Park Service:

How to Get There:
It takes about thirty minutes to get to the Point Loma tidepools parking lot from the Clairemont area. The official address is 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive (92106) and here are driving directions:

  • I-5 South, Rosecrans exit
  • Go 2.7 miles and turn right onto Talbot
  • Go .6 miles and turn left onto Canon 
  • Then, left onto Catalina
  • Drive 3.5 miles until you reach the entry station and pay $5
  • Take a right onto the tidepools road
  • Wind down the scenic hill until you see the parking lot
  • You’ll see the trail to the tidepools by the parking lot

Insider Intel:
Cell phone coverage is either spotty or non-existent in the tidepools area. If you are an AT&T customer, I recommend switching to “airplane mode” else you get billed for “international roaming” as there is a line of sight to cell towers in Mexico from the tidepools; the first time I was charged for a line item of “international roaming” and called to learn I’d accessed a Mexican cell tower, I was really confused as I don’t even have a passport – haha.

Kimberly Mann Bruch is an avid tidepooler, busy mom of three elementary aged children, and Tiny Tots teacher at the North Clairemont Recreation Center. Contact her at if would like information about January’s “Under the Sea” class for ages 3-5 at the North Clairemont Recreation Center.

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