Ano Nuevo State Reserve, Pescadero

4.6
#1 of 7 in Parks in Pescadero
Año Nuevo State Park’s rich variety of natural and cultural resources draws visitors from around the world. The park’s Natural Preserve offers an extraordinary wilderness experience, where every year up to 10,000 elephant seals return to breed, give birth, and molt their skin amongst the scenic dunes and beaches.

The park features the Marine Education Center boasting a natural history exhibit, bookstore, and theater. This complex is housed in the historic nineteenth century dairy ranch of the Dickerman/Steele family. These restored buildings recall the early American settlers, while the midden sites throughout the Natural Preserve tell us the story of the Quiroste Indians that lived peacefully here for thousands of years prior to the 1600s. Cove Beach is a short walk from here for beachgoers and surfers.

The physical terrain of Año Nuevo is distinctive, with coastal terrace prairie, wetland marshes, dune fields and coastal scrub hosting a high diversity of plants and animals, including the rare and endangered San Francisco Garter Snake and California Red-legged Frog.

A hike out along ocean bluffs brings visitors to Año Nuevo Point, a major bird migratory route and fantastic birding location. Located just offshore sits Año Nuevo Island and the remains of a 19th century lighthouse and fog signal station. Built in 1872, the historic keeper’s house now provides a new home to Brandt’s and Pelagic Cormorants as well as California Sea Lions. Otters and harbor seals are often sighted in the waters and magnificent Steller Sea Lions take up residence on the outlaying rocks.
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Ano Nuevo State Reserve Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
267 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This place has limited opening times so plan ahead accordingly. I was disappointed as in my visit there weren’t many seals and they weren’t that Close. But ur really depends on when you visit. July wa...  more »
  • Wonderful experience among the gigantic sea elephants. Their size really makes an impression, like their strange verse. The personal guide accompanies you step by step explaining the habits of this species of mammoth seals that come to winter in this beautiful nature reserve. Outside the usual tourist routes, the tours are always with a fair number of people and the guide devotes the right time to the visit without haste. To visit absolutely if you pass by here.
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