San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers

I have prepared a list of all San Diego lagoons and nature centers that are along the coastline. I have also linked each site to its appropriate website.

Explore, have fun and learn at the same time!

Nature Centers and San Diego Lagoons

San Diego doesn’t just have the best beaches in the country; we also have some of the most significant coastal wetlands as well.

With over 70 miles of coast to discover in San Diego, there are also several coastal lagoons to visit as well. Be that you are in a mood for a hike or interested in the natural history of the area, you really can not go wrong!

I will be starting the list at the most northern location, Oceanside and will be making my way South, finally ending at the Mexican Border.

Google Map San Diego Lagoons

Buena Vista Lagoon San Diego Lagoons

Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center

  • Nature Center run by the Audubon Society
  • Over 223 acres of coastal wetlands
  • 103 bird, 18 mammals, and 14 reptile and amphibian species found in the park
  • Native Garden

2202 South Coast Hwy, Oceanside CA 92054


Buena Vista Lagoon San Diego Lagoons


For more detailed information, go here.

Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center

Agua Hedionda Discovery Center

  • Nature Center run by Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation
  • 400 acres
  • Northeast end of the lagoon is a protected habitat
  • Native Garden

1580 Cannon Road, Carlsbad CA 92008



For more detailed information, go here.

Backside Aqua Hedionda Lagoon Panoramic


Batiquitos Lagoon San Diego Lagoons

Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center

  • Nature Center run by Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation
  • 610-acre Ecological Reserve
  • 1.5-mile trail
  • Over 200 pre-historic site along shoreline dated over 8000 years old

7380 Gabbiano Lane, Carlsbad CA 92011



For more information go here

Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center

San Elijo Lagoon San Diego Lagoons

San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center

  • 979 acre Ecological Reserve
  • Nature Center run by San Elijo Conservancy
  • Largest San Diego coastal wetlands

2712 Manchester Ave, Encinitas CA 92007



For more detailed information, go here.


San Dieguito County Park

  • Found a short distance from the Pacific Ocean
  • Many trails take you toward the coast with exceptional views

1628 Lomas Santa Fe, Del Mar CA 92014



San Dieguito Lagoon San Diego Lagoons

San Dieguito River Park

  • located about 2 miles from Del Mar North Beach
  • Coast to Crest Trail continues here
  • bird watching stations
  • benches

Coast to Crest Trail, Del Mar, CA 92014

(858) 674-2275


Trails Map San Dieguito Lagoon
‘You are here’ is linked to the Google Maps

Los Penasquitos Lagoon San Diego Lagoons
Los Penasquitos Lagoon

Los Penasquitos Lagoon


  • Northern Border of the City of San Diego forming a natural border with Del Mar
  • There is a colony of the endangered evergreen species Pinus torreyana-(Torrey pine)
  • Located within the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pine Tree San Diego Lagoons

The Visitor Center, The Torrey Pines Lodge is located on top of the hill at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

For more detailed information, go here.

Torrey Pines Lodge San Diego Lagoons
Torrey Pines Lodge

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve


Los Penasquitos Lagoon Watershed

Friends of Famosa Slough


PO Box 87280 San Diego, CA 92138-7280

(619) 224-4591

  • There is no nature center here, but there is a kiosk with information on the south side
  • short trail, but so much to see
  • man-made bird island over on the south side


San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge

1080 Gunpowder Point Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91910


  • There is a fee to visit
  • many trails to explore
  • zoological/interactive nature center
  • many historical sites to see

The Living Coast Discovery Center


Tijuana Estuary San Diego Lagoons

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park


  •  Major bird watching spot as there are over 375 species seen here
  • Bordered by Mexico

Ranger Station: 2721 Monument Road, San Diego, CA 92154

Bird and Butterfly Garden: 2310 Hollister St., San Diego, CA 92154

Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve Visitor Center


301 Caspian Way, Imperial Beach CA 91932



Border Field State Park

border field state park san diego nature centers

1500 Monument Rd, San Diego, CA 92154



Mexican US Border Field State Beach

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