The Museum of Natural History in Morro Bay State Park has long been one of my favorites, and my kids have recently become fans as well. Although the museum itself is small, it has a number of interactive displays, a bay window overlooking Morro Rock, and a balcony equipped with whale skeletons and binoculars for checking out the birds on the Bay. In addition, the short trail to the top of the bluff and the bedrock mortars is a fun, easy adventure for anyone with toddlers in tow.
My kids were thrilled to listen to the museum mascot “Rocky” teach them about everything from food webs to tidal rhythms and recycling. They loved the food chain game and helped me hunt for answers to the museum’s natural history quiz. They were both able to tell the docents the name of the rock in the bay and the two types of water in the bay by the time we left, so they both earned their bird whistles.
The Museum of Natural History at Morro Bay State Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. It is an entertainment bargain at only $3 for adults and free for children ages 16 and under! Plus they have a great gift shop filled with nature guides of every type, along with some great educational toys for the kiddos. One of my favorite California nature guides, The Nature of California by James Kavanagh is available there too!
And the museum isn’t the only reason to visit this area – there are a number of great sites that should also be on your itinerary. Check out the Heron Rookery, Los Osos Oaks State Reserve, Montaña de Oro State Park, the El Moro Elfin Forest and Audubon’s Sweet Springs Nature Preserve.
Safe travels everyone!