The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a beautiful 3 mile stretch of coastland between Point Montara and Pillar Point, in Northern California. A small sign just off Hwy 1 points visitors to the beach in the small town of Montara, about 40 minutes south of San Francisco.
Prized for its low tide pools, its home to a diverse range of intertidal life including sea urchins, hermit crabs, star fish, anemone, and other species. Visitors sometimes get lucky and glimpse a rare, red octopus up close crawling out of the sea across dry land, or gray or humpback whales and dolphins breaching in the distance.
Harbor seals are a big draw. On any given day, two to three hundred seals can be seen resting on the sand as part of their natural habitat. The best time to visit is during zero or negative low tide. Click here for a tide guide.
The reserve is a protected area. The park encourages people to appreciate its natural beauty, but are asked to leave the shells, rocks, driftwood, and animals, etc. undisturbed in their habitat.
Just south of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is the Moss Beach Distillery, a California Point of Historical Interest built in 1927. During the Prohibition, it is said to have been an ideal spot for bootleggers and speakeasies.