There are no tide pools in Oceanside. The closest tide pools are at San Onofre (20 minutes north) or Cerezo Bluffs (10 minutes south). Today we went to Cerezo Bluffs (not too far from the iconic Carlsbad smokestack which is currently in the process of being demolished). With the full moon peaking on Halloween, we were at the tide pools at exactly 3:30, to maximize our time with the intertidal organisms.
I volunteered at the tide pools at Scripps Birch Aquarium for a few years while attending UCSD, so I have a bit of knowledge and a lot of love for the place where the sea meets the land.
We poked, prodded, patted, and pressed sea anemones, seagrass, sargassum, snails, and algae. But the highlight of the day were the brittle stars! We found two fairly large ones. They are so much fun to hold and to watch as they move less like traditional sea stars and more like octopus. Brittle stars are some of my favorite tide pool organisms. I was also searching for octopus, sea hares, and sea cucumbers too, but with no luck. A1 wanted to find crabs with their crab eyes, but we couldn’t find any either. Regardless it was a very successful tide pool experience.
Four Points pointer- To get to the tide pools, park anywhere around Cerezo Dr. and Coast Hwy. From there, walk down the steps that run along the last house in Terramar, and take a right along the beach.