Shell Beach has a fairly good tide pool area at low tide. Shell Beach Tide Pool is at the south end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla at the bottom of a small cement stairway. On a good day at low tide, you can see many people exploring the tide pools. The glistening water and gentle breeze make for a refreshing experience.
But the surf can be powerful here, and you won't be able to see much sea life, unless you come when the tide is really low, preferably a minus tide. The big attraction of Shell Beach and Tide Pool is Seal Rock Reserve, a big rock offshore where seals and sea lions come to rest and sun themselves. A few years ago the reserve was expanded to include the sandy cove just to the south of Shell Beach.