Suzzanne

Exploring Tide Pools in San Diego

Creatures in a Tide Pool

One of my favorite activities to do with the kids is exploring San Diego’s many tide pools. They love seeing what might be hiding between the rocks. The best time to see these little creatures are from late fall through early spring as low daytime tides reveal wider beaches and pools teeming with native marine life such as hermit crabs, sea hares and sea anemones. Check the surf report to make sure the tide is low, a 1.0 foot tide or lower is Ok, but you will have a better chance of seeing more marine plants and animals when the tide is minus. Below is a list of my top spots for tide pools in San Diego.

1. Cabrillo National Monument: The rocky shore at the park has a lot to offer and the hermit crabs are abundant. In the mid-interidal zone you can also see very large Great Owl Limpets. There is a small entrance fee, however the rangers are helpful and will explain marine life and help visitors observe the animals.

2. Ocean Beach: There is a small tide pool area at the foot of Newport Avenue under the Ocean Beach pier. Visitors can find shore crabs, hermit crabs and sea anemones, and lots of small chitons in depressions in the sandstone rocks.

3. Shell Beach, La Jolla: This little beach has a good tide pool area at low tide. It is at the south end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla at the bottom of the small cement stairway. The big attraction here is Seal Rock Preserve, a big rock offshore where seals and sea lions come to rest and sun themselves.

4. Swami’s: North on Pacific Coast Highway from Cardiff State Beach is Swami’s. There you can find 45 million year old fossil shells in the hard sedimentary rock, oysters being the most common here. During a good low tide, the tide pools reveal an extensive flat area, and you have a good chance of seeing sea hares, brittle stars and octopi.

5. Dike Rock: This is a rocky area just to the north of Scripps Pier in La Jolla. To reach this area, you do have a bit of a walk, but it’s worth the time. Here you have a good chance of spotting a star fish or an octopus on a good minus tide.
Let us know if you have other favorites around town!

Another great way to see tide pools is to join the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Starting November 11 and running through February, you can explore along with aquarium naturalists the many tide pools around San Diego. On November 11, they will be exploring Dike Park. Birch will also be going to False Point and Hospital Point. You can also check out their permanent tide pool outside on the patio. Be sure to bring your camera!

Suzzanne

5 Reasons to Visit San Diego’s Attractions This Summer

LEGOLAND California Star Wars Miniland

1.This past March, LEGOLAND California unveiled its newest exhibit, STAR WARS Miniland. Guests will be taken to a galaxy far, far away with six new live-action LEGO displays of memorable scenes from the classic Star Wars movies. Over 1.5 million LEGO bricks create life-size models and interactive features from famous Star Wars scenes including Tatooine, Endor, and the Millennium Falcon.

San Diego Zoo's Red Panda

2. This summer, the San Diego Zoo is unveiling Panda Trek. This giant panda reserve will include newly built homes for the red pandas, takins and pit vipers as well as feature six species of bamboo and other Chinese plants including camellias and azaleas.

Splash Zoo at LEGOLAND Water Park

3. Opening May 26, 2011, the new Splash Zoo, just for toddlers, will open over at the LEGOLAND Water Park. This brand-new area will feature zoo-themed animals, interactive spray pads, fountains and a teeter totter.

SeaWorld's Sea Turtle Bay

4. Scheduled to open in June 2011 is SeaWorld San Diego’s Sea Turtle Bay. This new attraction will offer an up-close look at more than 60 threatened or endangered sea turtles. The attraction’s highlight is Turtle Reef, a 300,000-gallon aquarium, with a massive, underwater viewing window where visitors can watch as many as 60 green and hawksbill sea turtles.

Cheeta Run San Diego Zoo Safari Park

5. Be part of a Summer Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. From July 2 – August 21, 2011, visitors will be treated to entertainment, activities and animals that embrace the spirit of Africa in its Summer Safari-An African Extravaganza. Acrobats, artisans and Ethiopian circus performers will entertain in the Safari Park’s village. Guests can join African artisans to create beaded necklaces and decorate safari hats in the African Activities Plaza.

Suzzanne

5 To Try: Earth Day Edition

For those looking to connect with the environment this weekend, we offer you our 5 to Try: Celebrating Earth Day in San Diego.

1. On Sunday, April 17th, head down to Balboa Park to the annual EarthFair. Each year, EarthFair draws around 70,000 earth loving visitors making it the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. Produced by over 400 volunteers, EarthFair features more than 350 exhibitors, special theme areas, a food pavilion, a special kids’ activity area, three entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, the eARTH Gallery Art Show, and the Cleaner Car Concourse. It can get crowded so here are some transportation options to help you get to the fair.

2. From coral reefs to kelp forests, celebrate Earth Day with the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. On Saturday, April 16, meet Scripps Oceanography scientists who are working to understand and preserve our oceans, make a recycled craft and learn new ways that you can help protect our ocean planet.

3. Looking to really help make San Diego green? Join the San Diego Surfrider Chapter for a beach cleanup Saturday morning at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. This is a great opportunity to help make San Diego’s beaches free from unwanted trash. All you have to do is show up and wear comfortable clothing. Surfrider will provide bags (or you can bring one from home), latex gloves and hand sanitizer. Moonlight Beach will appreciate your help!

4. Earth Day may be April 22, but SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium wants to inspire kids to do their part in caring for our seas every day. Throughout the month of April, SEA LIFE will feature an Earth Month-themed show daily at 11:00 am as well as special green learning activities and crafting activities every Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

5. It might surprise some to know that San Diego is home to more than 6,000 farmers and #1 in the nation for small farms. While dining out this weekend, why not try a restaurant known that takes advantage of locally produced ingredients. A few of my favorites include Urban Solace and Cucina Urbana. Even better, stop by one of San Diego’s farmers markets this weekend and make your own farm to table meal!

Stephenie

The World Oceans Day Fun Continues

The Cat in the Hat and The Surf Divas

Recap of the weekend:

Celebrating World Oceans Day was quite a treat,
Sea Life had an underwater reading, which surely was neat.
Polar bears judged snow sculptures at the Zoo,
And Hornblower Cruises offered free face-painting too.
But of course Cat in the Hat made quite a commotion,
When he paddled out with Surf Diva for a book reading in the ocean.
Missed out on all the fun you say? Well that’s ok,
Cuz World Oceans Day fun continues til Tuesday!

(Insert applause)

It’s official, I’ve got Seuss fever from all the World Oceans Day fun I had over the weekend.  But just in case you missed out, there’s still more fun to be had tomorrow, June 8, the official World Oceans Day.

Attractions and Museums

  • San Diego Botanic Garden will present a reading of “One Fish, Two Fish,” ocean-themed activities and arts & craft projects geared toward pre-school age children .
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps will host Seuss-themed activities, including a scavenger hunt of “zany named” fish and a special World Oceans Day dive show in its two-story kelp forest tank .
  • The New Children’s Museum will celebrate World Oceans Day with a reading of “One Fish, Two Fish” at 10:30 a.m. and the creation of a massive ocean mural.
  • SeaWorld San Diego will have a World Oceans Day booth, which will include live animal visits and educational games to remind visitors how to keep the oceans safe.

Restaurants

  • Corvette Diner & Gamers Garage wil host a reading of “One Fish, Two Fish” at 3 p.m. with a local TV news personality and offer a “Wear Blue, Tell Two” promotion throughout the day.

Around Town