2710 Manchester Avenue
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007
Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.
Directions: From I-5 take Manchester Avenue west. The entrance to the Nature Center is on the south side of the road.
Watch a video presentation about the nature center.
About the Nature Center
The Nature Center is a perfect starting point for experiencing the beautiful San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Museum quality interactive exhibits interpret the history and development of the ecological reserve, as well as the plants and animals found here.
Learn more about the hundreds of native species that live there, and demonstrate the natural processes critical to the health of this precious estuarine environment. Its location next to some of the seven miles of trails in the reserve makes it a convenient place to bring the family before venturing out into the lagoon.
The 5,525 square foot, two-story building presents a unique opportunity for the public to see a number of “green” building concepts in use. The Nature Center was designed and constructed with a focus on the environment through energy efficiency, water conservation, and natural resource preservation by incorporating many “green” technologies into the design. Construction, and operations of the building include a solar powered photovoltaic system mounted on the roof, an energy-efficient radiant heat system encapsulated in the floors, water conserving toilets, energy conserving appliances, a “green” roof, and the use of recycled water in toilets. In addition, construction materials used throughout the building contain a high content of recycled material.