Bay Area Gems: Fitzgerald Marine Reserve


Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a local gem, just a few minutes off Highway 1 in the diminutive town of Moss Beach.  Unless you knew about it, you might never discover this special place!  I didn’t hear of it until we moved here last year…and it quickly became one of my favorite parks to visit.

What makes Fitzgerald Marine Reserve unique is the diversity and abundance of flora, fauna, and marine life.  If you time it right and visit during the lowest low tides (usually around a full or new moon), you can explore the reefs on foot, and see a variety of tide pool creatures up close.  Check the tides here before you go.


I enjoy the tide pools and look forward to bringing Laila to see them in a few years, but what I love most about Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is walking the trails to the bluff top to take in the expansive views, then continuing through the cypress forest.  This place is truly magical, especially on a misty day (of which we have many) or during the golden hour on a clear day.  The trees were planted by an early settler of Moss Beach in the early 1900’s.  Over one hundred years later, walking among them feels like walking through otherworldly tunnels of massive trunks and gnarled branches.  

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An hour at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve reconnects me to nature…to its beauty, diversity, and fragility…and allows me to let go of any stresses that are taking up mental space and energy.  I love coming here to sketch, walk, or simply sit, breathe, and allow the quiet to wash over me.  

If you go, pack a picnic lunch and wander down the stairs near Cypress Ave to Seal Cove Beach.  Or, plan a late afternoon visit followed by sunset drinks with a view at nearby Moss Beach Distillery!