I love the beach. I won't go so far as to say I'd want to live there, given that coastal places tend to be overcast large portions of the year. But if money wasn't a factor, I would definitely want a little cottage by the ocean so I could stay there during the sunny times. I seriously love the beach.
We visited some new tide pools (new to us, anyway) in Santa Cruz in early March. They are supposed to be some of the best in the state. We saw tons of sea stars, purple sea urchins, anemones (or sea enemies, as the boys like to call them ;), and huge hermit crabs. It was a beautiful day and a great time together as a family.