So your child wants to see animals up close and personal? There's not much better than being on a beautiful seashore half an hour south of San Francisco with incredible tide pools at your feet, and a herd of harbor seals writhing with pleasure on the sand a hundred yards away.
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach has been a designated plant and animal haven since the late Sixties, and subsequently over two dozen marine species have been discovered here. In terms of discovery, I couldn't believe I'd never been here. What a cool place! I love seals, tide pools, the ocean, and all of that also being close to home.
To get a walk in, cruise along the bluffs on a mile's worth of trails, or ride a bicycle several miles down the California Coastal Trail, all the way to El Granada if you like, where there are plenty of sweet restaurants (Ketch Joanne is my favorite) and picnic places.
Before visiting Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, make sure to check a tide schedule to arrive during the lowest tide:www.Saltwatertides.com.
Keep in mind the park opens at 8 am. Dogs are only allowed on certain trails, and not around the tide pools or the marine animals.
FITZGERALD MARINE RESERVE