2023-2024 Field Trips in Santa Cruz Area State Parks are Now Available!

In-Person Programs

Schedule your class for a field trip to the San Mateo coast and visit Half Moon Bay State Beach, Pescadero Marsh State Natural Reserve, Bean Hollow State Beach, or Montara State Beach. Coordinated through the Half Moon Bay State Beach Office, we offer a variety of hands-on programs for K-12 school groups focusing on shoreline habitats. 

Register for an In-Person Field Trip! 

Program Options:

Coastal Wildlife: Discover the wildlife that lives along our coast! Students will explore how local fauna are adapted to live in ocean and beach habitats through hands-on activities, examining real pelts and model skulls, and mindfulness and art activities. Suitable for grades K – 12. Can accommodate 20 – 75 students (1 - 3 classes). Location: Francis Beach (Half Moon Bay State Beach). Offered year-round.

Wonders of the Rocky Shore: Experience the excitement of discovery at Pebble Beach/Bean Hollow State Beach. We will explore the tactile nature of this unique beach and learn about the distinctive geologic features and the power of water. Students will engage in a creative activity as well as an observation-based exploration of the physical landscape. Suitable for grades 2 – 8. Can accommodate 20 - 75 students (1 - 3 classes). Location: Pebble Beach/North parking lot of Bean Hollow State Beach, near Pescadero. Offered year-round.

Birding at Pescadero Marsh: Explore the largest coastal wetlands in our area on a guided walk through the Pescadero Marsh. We will teach students how to use binoculars as we take an easy walk along the marsh. We will discuss the importance of wetland ecology, listen and look for birds, and hone our observation skills. Suitable for grades 2 – 12. Can accommodate 20 – 35 students (1 class maximum). Location: Pescadero State Beach central parking lot on HWY 1. Offered October – end of January.

Gray Whale Cove Wildflower Walk: Soak in breathtaking views of the Pacific coast on this two mile guided walk on Montara Mountain. We will observe vibrant wildflowers and native plants, look for signs of wildlife, and engage in guided mindfulness activities. Come connect with nature and practice slowing down to smell the flowers with us! Suitable for grades 3-12. Can accommodate 20-35 students (1 class maximum). Location: Gray Whale Cove Trail Parking Lot, 9 mi north of HWY 92. Offered February – May.

Virtual Programs

Come and visit us virtually! In our virtual field trip program, students learn about the many animals that inhabit the diverse, interconnected ecosystems of the coast. The virtual program offers two modules to choose from. 

Register for a Virtual Field Trip!

Program Options:

Shaping the Coast: Schedule your class for a virtual field trip to the San Mateo coast and visit beautiful Half Moon Bay State Beach. In this program, we'll learn about the awesome forces that shape our iconic coastline. From tectonic plates, to the awesome power of water, to human impacts–there are many factors that affect our sometimes-sandy, sometimes-rocky shores. Questions can be emailed to us directly at halfmoonbay@ports-ca.us.

Animal Habitats and Adaptations: Schedule your class for a virtual field trip to the San Mateo coast and visit Half Moon Bay State Beach. In this program, we'll get to know some of the many animals that inhabit our beaches and ocean, how they are adapted to their environment, and what we can all do to help preserve their homes for the future. Questions can be emailed to us directly at halfmoonbay@ports-ca.us


This is a Kids2Parks Participating Park! 

Kids2Park LogoKids2Parks is an innovative park-equity program to bring students from Title 1 schools to State Park field trips. The program, a partnership between California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, increases the number of students who have visited a state park or beach by reducing barriers to access. The program offers transportation funding for field trips to select Title 1 schools in Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. For more information, and to apply, please visit www.thatsmypark.org/visit/k2p.