8 Best North American Beaches For Exploring Tide Pools

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Tide pools

credit: Bill Bouton

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There are few miniature worlds as magical as tide pools. Formed in craggy shoreline niches when the tide recedes, they team with alien-seeming life – bright sea stars, vibrant quivering anemones, exotic mottled sea urchins.

Tide pools in some form or another can exist wherever sea meets shore, but ragged rocky coastlines often offer the best opportunity for these fragile intertidal wonders. Escape the summer heat at some of North America’s most beloved beaches, and behold the microcosmic mysteries of the sea. Before you go, check out our Guidelines for Gentle Beachcombing and Tide Pooling.

1. Chesterman Beach: Tofino, British Columbia

Beautifully situated on Vancouver Island's Pacific coast, Chesterman Beach is one of Canada's most famous beaches and it boasts some stunning tide pools.

The tide here retreats to reveal seemingly endless pools and puddles in the worn granate, which play home to mussels, barnacles, chitons, sea slugs, hermit crabs, minnows, and a host of other marine creatures.