While it's well-known that the Golden State has plenty of sunshine and scenic spots to offer, there are a few that deserve more of our attention. Did you know there are actual ocean tide pools in California you can swim in that are carved out of stone? You'll have to see it to believe it.

There's a reason why people call the west coast the best coast. *winks*

Thousand Steps Beach is a total gem. To get to the tide pools, you'll take a plant-shrouded staircase on 9th Street in Laguna Beach down to the shores. Contrary to the name, it's only 224 steps. Yes, we counted.

It's a long walk for sure, but you can see the turquoise ocean (aka your reward) in the distance. It's all worthwhile knowing you can take a dip.

To get there, head right down the beach until you reach a rocky cove. When the tide is low, you can cross the rocks to a hidden ocean pool on the other side!

When the waves lap over, the pool fills up with salt water and fish. It's deep enough to go swimming and snorkeling. You never know what you might find.

We highly recommend visiting during the late spring or summer when temperatures are warmer. The water is so clear, and you'll feel like you're on an island far away.

When conditions are right, you can see all types of marine life, including fish, starfish, sea crabs, and more.

It's the perfect spot to spend the day lounging on the powder-soft sand and exploring the tide pools.

If you head south down the shore, you'll find Laguna Beach's famous sea cave. It's a cool spot to take pictures with your friends. You'll feel like a pirate searching for hidden treasure. 

Everywhere you look, the views are stunning. For those seeking an uncrowded beach in southern California, the tide pools at Thousand Steps are a beautiful adventure.

So what are you waiting for? Time to get out and be one with nature again.

While you're visiting, you might also want to explore these easy hikes that will give you all of the views.

Thousand Steps Beach

Price: Free to visit

Location: 31972 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA

Why You Should Go: You can swim in beautiful ocean pools and an actual beach cove.

Website

* The left cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.  Check weather conditions before visiting tide pools and crossing rocks for safety; do not attempt when the waves are high.


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