Explore a Tide Pool


You can get an in-person peek into these wild “aquariums.”

In the United States, tide pools are found up and down the West Coast, along the rocky shores of New England, and in Hawaii and Alaska. If you go tide-pooling, here are some tips to keep you—and the tide-pool creatures you find—safe.

  1. Never go alone.
  2. Go at low tide. As you explore, keep an eye on the tide and on the waves. An incoming tide can leave you stranded.
  3. Never turn your back to the ocean. Waves move fast and can quickly knock you off your feet.
  4. Wear shoes with soles that won’t slip. Walk slowly and carefully on slippery rocks.
  5. It’s OK to gently touch some creatures. But don’t pick any up or take them home.
  6. Try not to step on any creatures.
  7. Move rocks gently to look under them. Then be sure to put them back as they were.
  8. Many coastal places have rules for exploring nearby tide pools. Read the rules and obey them.

If you can’t go to visit tide pools in person, maybe you can see them in one of the many aquariums that have tide-pool exhibits. Here are just a few:

  • New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon
  • Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska
  • Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, Hawaii