Coast to Cactus in Southern California
San Diego Natural History Museum
1788 El Prado
The southern California you’ve never seen. Now see it all in one place. Not only is it one of the nicest places to live, it’s one of the most interesting places in the world due to its amazing diversity of plant and animal life. The coastline, mountains, deserts, and more—it’s all here, ready to be explored. See it in Coast to Cactus in Southern California, a brand-new, permanent exhibition on view at the San Diego Natural History Museum. San Diego is known for its incredibly diverse terrain, ranging from the beaches and chaparral near the coast, to the mountains and the desert farther afield. This terrain is what makes the region one of only 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world, meaning areas that have the highest concentration of different species of any geographic area of similar size. Using specimens from the Museum’s scientific collections alongside immersive environments (hands-on exhibits, live animals, and innovative media), Coast to Cactus illustrates that richness by taking visitors on a journey through these habitats and the plants and animals that live in them. In keeping with the Museum’s binational focus, all information within Coast to Cactus is presented in both English and Spanish. The exhibition is located in the Dennis and Carol Wilson Hall of Biodiversity on Level 2 of the Museum adjacent to its sister exhibition, Fossil Mysteries, which gives visitors a look into prehistoric past of the region. Together, they tell the story of southern California from the prehistoric era to present day.