I have prepared a list of all San Diego lagoons and nature centers along the coastline and linked each site to its appropriate website.
Explore, have fun, and learn at the same time!
Table of Contents
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.
With over 70 miles of coast to discover in San Diego, there are also several coastal lagoons to visit. If you are in the mood for a hike or are interested in the area’s natural history, you cannot go wrong!
I will start the list at the most northern location, Oceanside, and make my way South, finally ending at the Mexican Border.
Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center
- Nature Center, run by the Audubon Society
- Over 223 acres of coastal wetlands
- 103 birds, 18 mammals, and 14 reptile and amphibian species were found in the park
- Native Garden
2202 South Coast Hwy, Oceanside CA 92054
Agua Hedionda Discovery Center
- Nature Center run by Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation
- 400 acres
- The northeast end of the lagoon is a protected habitat
- Native Garden
1580 Cannon Road, Carlsbad, CA 92008
- Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center
- Hubbs Trail Tour at Aqua Hedionda Lagoon
- Hiking North Agua Hedionda Lagoon Trails in May
Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center
- Nature Center run by The Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation
- 610-acre Ecological Reserve
- 1.5-mile trail- leashed dogs are welcomed
- Over 200 pre-historic sites along the shoreline date over 8000 years old
7380 Gabbiano Lane, Carlsbad CA 92011
San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center- The Nature Collective
- 979-acre Ecological Reserve
- Nature Center run by San Elijo Conservancy
- Most extensive San Diego coastal wetlands
2712 Manchester Ave, Encinitas, CA 92007
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 River Park
- located about 2 miles from Del Mar North Beach
- Coast to Crest Trail continues here
- bird watching stations
Coast to Crest Trail, Del Mar, CA 92014
Los Penasquitos Lagoon
- The Northern Border of the City of San Diego forms 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
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 State Natural Reserve
Friends of Famosa Slough
PO Box 87280 San Diego, CA 92138-7280
- There is no nature center here, but there is a kiosk with information at the south side.
- short trail, but so much to experience
- 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- (See The Living Coast Discovery Center)
- many trails to explore
- zoological/interactive nature center
- many historical sites to view
Tijuana River Valley Regional Park
- Prominent bird watching spot with 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
1500 Monument Rd, San Diego, CA 92154
I have always had a deep-seated passion for the Ocean Environment which ultimately led me to receive a degree in Marine Biology. Living in the San Diego area for over 30 years, I have extensively explored the 70 miles of San Diego’s coastline, and I am here to share! Please use my website to your advantage and have a look around at all the wonders that the beaches of San Diego can offer you!