If you are wanting to explore tide pools in North County San Diego, then head to Swami's Beach in Encinitas. I had no idea that there were tide pools here until a friend invited us to join her and her children for some afternoon fun at the beach. They had previously been to this location to explore the tide pools, and although I have driven past this beach more times than I can count I had always considered it more of a surf beach.
It's quite a steep decent to the beach as you can see in the photograph below, which means if you are tired at the end of your beach and tidepooling adventure, you still have to make it all the way to the top of the stairs, which I have to say almost defeated me (I am also one of the most unfit people).
Even though we arrived at the beach a little later than we had intended, we still got quite lucky finding a couple of starfish and a hermit crab.
1240 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
There is a small car park south of the Self-Realization Fellowship. On weekends it will be difficult to find parking here, but there is also street parking available.
There are bathrooms located at the car park and a shower at the bottom of the stairs.
When you walk down the steep stairwell toward the beach the tide pools will be to the right and only a very short walk away.
Make sure you check the tide information before going.