Take Western Avenue all the way south until you can't go any farther; the vast Pacific lays before you — more specifically, San Pedro's Royal Palms State Beach. To your left is White Point Park and down below its bluffs you'll find at low tide a shelf of tide pools full of hidden treasures: translucent shrimp, tiny spiny sea urchins, starfish clinging to rocks, sea anemones waving in the ebb and flow like bromeliads in a flooded garden. Crabs scuttle. Waves boom — all an interactive marine science lesson for young minds. For the older set, this is a garden of wonder that makes our minds young again. Park at the metered spots in White Point Park, or pay $6 to drive down the steep road to the tide pools themselves. Don't be a hater and remove any of the little creatures from their homes. Stay away from the rocks where the waves are breaking; it only takes one rogue wave to ruin your whole day. Look for the low-tide times in the newspaper or online before you go. Or you'll feel really stupid. 1799 W. Paseo del Mar, San Pedro. Beach open 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

—Jedd Birkner

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