Field Trips

Visit a State Park or Beach

Online registration for State Parks field trips is now open.
Virtual and in-person field trips will be offered in Santa Cruz District State Parks.

Año Nuevo State Park

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School groups are welcome at Año Nuevo State Park year-round to learn about this incredible coastal habitat including the elephant seal rookery, the one-of-a-kind island, and Ohlone middens. Tours vary based on the time of year.

Castle Rock State Park

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Students have the ability to learn firsthand about the natural wonders of Castle Rock State Park. Field trips are focused on the geology of the park.

Castro Adobe State Historic Park

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A visit to the Castro Adobe in Watsonville immerses students in the community’s story from the heyday of the vaquero to the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Hands-on, sensory experiences bring more than a century of history to life, while guided investigations of students’ own inquiries make learning personally relevant.

Curriculum for the Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe (English)

Curriculum for the Rancho San Andrés Castro Adobe (Spanish)

Learn more in this Castro Adobe Fact Sheet

Half Moon Bay State Beach

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School groups in grades K-12 can take part in docent-led, hands-on educational programs along the San Mateo Coast. Field trips focused on shoreline habitats are held at Half Moon Bay State Beach, Pescadero Marsh, Montara State Beach and Bean Hollow State Beach.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

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With the diverse ecosystems within the boundaries of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, including old-growth redwood forest, riparian habitat, sandhills chaparral and grasslands, there are many opportunities for student engagement.

Natural Bridges State Beach

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Natural Bridges State Beach offers field trip programs about the migrating Monarch Butterflies and the intertidal zone.

Rancho del Oso Unit

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Learn about fire ecology at Rancho del Oso. Explore the CZU Fire burn scar while discussing the impacts of wildfire on various ecosystems.

Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park

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Come visit Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park to learn about indigenous history.

Please note: The themes and discussions that we approach in our programs with students may be challenging for some communities or individuals.

Seacliff State Beach

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Seacliff State Beach field trips explore fossils and marine life in the Monterey Bay.

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks

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Visit The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, a second-growth forest in Aptos, to learn about resilience and regeneration.

Wilder Ranch State Park

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Wilder Ranch State Park offers enrichment activities focused on ranch history. Also, self-guided tours of Wilder Ranch are available when the workshops, barns and Interpretive Center are open.

Teachers also can explore what is available virtually through the Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS), a free distance-learning program that uses the power of interactive videoconferencing to help K-12 schools teach common core state standards in the context of California State Parks.