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Coastal Discovery Center

Cause Area

  • Animals
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy
  • Environment


California 1San Simeon RoadSan Simeon, CA 93452 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Welcome to the Coastal Discovery Center, a joint venture between Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and California State Parks. Located on beautiful San Simeon Bay, the Coastal Discovery Center celebrates the connection between land and sea. The Center offers interactive exhibits and education programs which highlight the cultural and natural history of San Simeon, California State Parks and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The interface of land and sea is unique here, drawing people for its rich bounty, economic opportunity, recreation and inspiration. Protecting these special places preserves them for use and enjoyment for generations to come.


The Coastal Discovery Center is open to the public Fridays through Sundays and is staffed by docents. These trained volunteers provide information to some of the 6 million tourists who travel north or south along this National Scenic Byway section of Highway 1 each year. Docents answer questions about local activities such as visiting the historic Hearst Castle, observing northern elephant seals during their pupping and breeding season, visiting the Piedras Blancas Light Station, and viewing wildlife on offshore rocks and in lush kelp forests.

Docents go through a comprehensive training program to learn about local history as well as the natural and cultural resources in the area. Docent activities include greeting visitors in the Coastal Discovery Center, leading history walks along San Simeon Pier, participating in our annual fair and/or becoming involved in educational programs for school groups during the week days.


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