Prepare to be amazed by all of the purple sea urchins, red sea cucumbers, giant green sea anemones, colorful sea stars, hermit crabs, harbor seals and sea birds your family can handle at these seven protected intertidal ecosystems, known as marine gardens, along the Oregon coast. All of the gardens are hands-on sites that enable your little scientists to carefully touch the starfish or pick up hermit crabs. Click through our album for the splash-tastic scoop on where to find them.

For Anemones and Starfish: Haystack Rock

This seabird nesting colony is also home to spectacular tide pools teeming with sea anemones, sea stars, sea urchin and shellfish, not to mention it's within a couple hours' drive of Portland. Volunteers from the Haystack Rock Awareness Program are available on most summer days to help your family with any questions and to point you in the right direction of little sea creatures.

Hwy. 101
Cannon Beach, Or

Photo credit: via Creative Commons


  • via Creative Commons,_Oregon_coast.jpg
  • Richard Masoner via Flickr Creative Commons
  • via Creative Commons
  • Pacific Crest Stock via Creative Commons
  • via Creative Commons
  • via Creative Commons
  • via Creative Commons
  • via Creative Commons

Where is your favorite tide pool to explore? Let us know in the Comments below!

–Suzie Ridgway