Morro Bay Museum of Natural History

The Morro Bay Museum of Natural History is located within Morro Bay State Park. The museum is situated on a hill above the bay and has panoramic views of the estuary, sandspit, Morro Rock and the Pacific Ocean.  As the only Natural History Museum in the California State Park system, the museum features hands-on interpretive exhibits for visitors of all ages.  The museum is open daily from 10am-5pm. Friendly and knowledgeable staff members are available to answer visitors’ questions, and distribute park literature, such as maps and brochures.

School Programs

TK-12 School Programs
School programs offered at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History are led by State Park Interpreters and reflect the current school standards, including NGSS, CCSS, and environmental literacy curriculum. Our programs are adaptable and strive to accommodate all students. All programs are FREE of charge for students, teachers and chaperones.

Programs generally run for two hours on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Lessons may include a guided outdoor nature walk and a rotation through the Museum of Natural History where students can learn at their own pace with their peers through self-guided exploration of the hands-on displays.

We also offer fully self-guided opportunities for teachers wishing to visit the park and museum on their own with their students during the museum's normal business hours.

Reservations Required 
Spaces are limited and any school group planning to visit the park and/or museum needs a reservation in advance, including all self-guided and home school groups. Book your reservation today by emailing slo.fieldtrips@parks.ca.gov 

Bus and Transportation Grants
Does your school serve predominantly low-income students, and is transportation cost preventing you from accessing California State Parks? Thanks to a generous grant from PG&E, funds are available to provide FREE transportation to the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History. The Central Coast State Parks Association (CCSPA) is a cooperating association with California State Parks and grants will be processed directly through CCSPA. These grants are awarded on a rolling basis until the total fund is depleted. Click HERE to apply!

Public Education Programs

Adventures with Nature (AWN)
Adventures with Nature Interpretive Programs are guided walks and talks facilitated by California State Park Staff and Volunteers. All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. These fun, free programs are exploratory in nature, revolving around cultural and natural resources in the coastal California State Parks in San Luis Obispo County.

For a full list of upcoming public events, please check the Adventures with Nature calendar!

Summer Programs

(Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day Weekend)

Interpretive staff offer free, fun summer programs in the Morro Bay State Park campground day use area and the downstairs Learning Lab at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History.

Junior Ranger Programs are designed for children ages 7 - 12 years old and may include a fun lesson, a hands-on activity, craft or guided hike adventure around the park! Children will enjoy joining State Park Interpreters for fun activities to learn about the outdoors and will earn a Junior Ranger badge!

Campfire Programs are hosted in the Morro Bay State Park Campfire Center, located towards the back of the campground. Join State Park Interpreters and special guest speakers around the community campfire on for fun and interactive presentations about local wildlife and cultural topics. All ages welcome.

Special Events

Facility Rentals/Film Permits/Weddings
Special events require an advanced permit through the California Department of Parks and Recreation.  Please contact the district event coordinator by emailing SLO.SpecialEvents@parks.ca.gov