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Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

Step into a field guide to the Californian Central Coast, packed with local birdlife, marine life and Native American culture. 

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History offers insight into the local animal and plant life, geology and human history of Pacific Grove and the surrounding areas. The museum’s roots date back to a group of ecologically- and historically-minded locals in 1879. Today, it’s grown into a dynamic center that inspires wonder, discovery and stewardship. 

Start with a visit to the life-size whale in front of the building. Sandy the gray whale is one of the museum’s most popular attractions, particularly for children. Inside, explore the Cetacean Room, which features spectacular bones from marine mammals. Don’t miss the skeleton of an orca suspended the from the ceiling. 

Monterey County has one of the most diverse bird populations in the U.S, most of which you’ll find represented in the museum’s bird collection. The collection contains 409 wall-mounted birds representing nearly 300 species from the finch family to the majestic California Condor. 

The museum also focuses on the geological history of the area and has rock specimens dating back tens of millions of years. Wander through the Native Plant Garden, which recreates the main ecosystems of Monterey County: coastal scrub, chaparral and oak woodland. There’s also a butterfly garden teeming with monarch butterflies, which can be observed up-close through telescopes. 

Monterey County has a rich Native American history. Local tribes thrived even after Spanish colonization. The museum displays artifacts found in Pacific Grove that date back over 5,000 years, including tools essential for daily life. The Native Plant Garden also has a section devoted to plants grown by Native Americans. 

The museum also features more contemporary displays. Step inside the Spirit Nest, an interactive tube made of interwoven oak, willow and plum boughs created by artist Jayson Fann.

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History is located in central Pacific Grove, a 9-minute drive from Monterey. Buses also go to Pacific Grove from downtown Monterey. Allow one to two hours to see the museum, which is free to enter and open Tuesday through Sunday.  


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Lodging Near Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History

See all 191 Hotels near Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
$62
Lovers Point Inn

Lovers Point Inn

625 Ocean View Blvd, Pacific Grove
3.5
of 5, from 1,690 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Pacific Grove, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lovers Point, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Fisherman's Wharf and Maritime Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$111
Centrella Inn

Centrella Inn

612 Central Ave, Pacific Grove
4.3
of 5, from 522 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Pacific Grove, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Fisherman's Wharf and Maritime Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$107
Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa

Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa

1 Old Golf Course Rd, Monterey
4.0
of 5, from 4,692 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

After undergoing a $60 million renovation, this 550-room hotel and conference center is situated on 22 acres next to the 18-hole championship Pebble Beach Resort's Del Monte Golf Course, 6 blocks from the beach and 1 mile from downtown Monterey.

$124
Gosby House Inn, A Four Sisters Inn

Gosby House Inn, A Four Sisters Inn

643 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove
4.5
of 5, from 441 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Pacific Grove, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Fisherman's Wharf and Maritime Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

3703 La Gloria Cottage-by-the-sea ~ Walk to Town and Beach! Beautiful Design!

3703 La Gloria Cottage-by-the-sea ~ Walk to Town and Beach! Beautiful Design!

210 Park Street, Pacific Grove
5.0
of 5, from 10 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Pacific Grove, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Fisherman's Wharf and Maritime Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Closest Home to Lover's Point Free use of 4 Bikes/passes/kiyak /off ST. Parking

Closest Home to Lover's Point Free use of 4 Bikes/passes/kiyak /off ST. Parking

621 Jewell Ave, Pacific Grove
4.9
of 5, from 46 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Pacific Grove, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lovers Point, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Fisherman's Wharf and Maritime Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

3684 Jewel by the Sea ~ Updated, Luxurious, Walk to Town and the Beach

3684 Jewel by the Sea ~ Updated, Luxurious, Walk to Town and the Beach

218 Congress Avenue, Pacific Grove
4.9
of 5, from 15 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Pacific Grove, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Jameson's Classic Motorcycle Museum and Point Pinos Lighthouse. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Pebble Beach, Monterey, Carmel & Pacific Grove It's all Here, With Ocean Views!

Pebble Beach, Monterey, Carmel & Pacific Grove It's all Here, With Ocean Views!

316 17th Street, Pacific Grove
4.7
of 5, from 12 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Pacific Grove, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Jameson's Classic Motorcycle Museum and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Fisherman's Wharf and Point Pinos Lighthouse are also within 3 mi (5 km).