One of the most exciting reasons to visit Santa Cruz County is to see wildlife. Wildlife watching in Santa Cruz County is rich with opportunities to view elephant seals, wintering monarch butterflies, and go whale watching or bird watching. Watsonville's wetlands and nearby Elkhorn Slough support hundreds of birds that pass through or find permanent refuge there. The annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival in Watsonville is a great way to view a variety of birds and other animals which call this area home. Spotting dolphins, sea otters and other marine life can also be enjoyed year-round. Read more...
To request a Birding and Wildlife Guide for Santa Cruz County, click here.
Touch a shark, marvel at a whale of a skeleton, dive into the latest discoveries in ocean science. Exhibits, aquarium, daily tours, touch pools & Ocean Discovery Shop. Come explore your ocean!
Adventure Out is California's premiere outdoor school specializing in surf camps, rock climbing classes, backpacking trips, mountain biking and wilderness survival skills instruction. Our mission is to share decades of wilderness experience while achieving our wildest adventures in the outdoors. We offer open-to-the-public trips and classes, private lessons and group programs such as corporate retreats, team building and private parties.
Access with tickets only Dec.15 - Mar 31: Naturalist-led tours venture into elephant seal breeding rookery Dec. 15 - Mar. 31. For reservations call 800.444.4445. April 1 - Nov 30, self-guided access by permit only (avail. at park). Seals present year-round.
Visitor center & five miles of trails through oak woodlands, grasslands, fresh & saltwater marshes, seasonal wildlife.
Near beach, shops & quaint Capitola/Soquel Village
Mission-style resort overlooking the Monterey Bay.
Offers comfortable ocean view guest rooms
Steps to the beach, in heart of Capitola Village
Starting in early October, the black and orange beauties start trickling in from colder climates to enjoy our moderate coastal weather.