Morro Bay / so many choices
Visit SLO State Parks info on Morro Bay Parks—
State Parks Around Morro Bay
Two State Parks surround Morro Bay, Morro Bay State Park and Morro Strand State Beach. Both offer camping, birding, and beach activities. Morro Bay State Park also features The Museum of Natural History, a marina, the golf course, kayak rentals, and extensive hiking on Black Hill and east of South Bay Boulevard on Cerro Cabrillo. And of course, the park includes Morro Rock. Pick up a copy of the State Park Maps at the Museum to help you sort it out.
The Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay State Park
Just west of California's scenic Highway 1, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History sits on a hill overlooking the Morro Bay Estuary. In addition to panoramic views of the coastline, the view from the museum includes world-famous Morro Rock.
The Museum of Natural History — the only one in the California State Park system — opened in 1962. It served over 10,000 visitors in its first two years alone, and< now over 50,000 people visit the Museum annually, including 5,000 children who participate free-of-charge in the docent-led school group programs that support California's required science and social studies standards. Many of our school group children have never seen the ocean until they visit us.
Award winning artist Kristopher Doe created the Marine Mammal Mural on the north side of the museum to give visitors perspective of the size of these animals and with each other since most of us don’t find ourselves swimming with whales all that often!
Interactive exhibits are designed to delight and educate both young and old.
These exhibits provide current scientific information related to the estuary and bay ecosystems and allow visitors to learn about tidal forces, geology, erosion, human impacts on the land and how to preserve and protect the environment and all its living creatures in a fun, hands-on learning environment.
Several of the exhibits feature touch screens that provide visitors the opportunity to find out what the forces of nature are doing at that moment in time. Visitors can build a sand dune, operate the hydrologic cycle and dig into the food pit to create their own food chains.
The Museum of Natural History is located in Morro Bay State Park and is within minutes of the Heron Rookery, Montaña de Oro State Park, the El Moro Elfin Forest and Audubon's Sweet Springs Nature Preserve. The Museum overlooks Morro Bay which is both a State and National Estuary. Entry fees are $3 for adults and free to children 16 and under. The Museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
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