Pacific Grove Museum: Area natural history comes alive

by May 5, 2015California

Interactive Nest At The Pacific Grove Museum Of Natural History

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History in Monterey County’s Pacific Grove is a small but wonderful natural history museum well worth spending a few hours visiting.

OK, I’ll admit this straight out: When we venture to another city, museums aren’t usually the top of our list. There is normally so much to see, experience and live on the streets and outdoors. But sometimes a museum just stands out. Take the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History in Monterey County for one.

Pacific Grove Museum Wildflower Show

The museum is a little place with a huge heart that invites visitors – adults and kids alike – to not just look but to touch, hear, play and feel. Dang amazing really for a museum that opened in 1883 and still, in part, exists in one of its original historic buildings on a side street in Pacific Grove.

Living showcase at the Natural History Museum

This is a showcase of nature and history, birds and wildlife, flowers and geology of the Central Coast of California. Wondered about the Monarch Butterflies and their annual migration to Pacific Grove? Don’t just look at pretty pictures, come to the Pacific Grove Museum to learn about Monarch Butterflies see what it’s all about.

Pacific Grove Museum Garden

Bears? Yup, a big stuffed one in the main exhibit room that looks ready to pounce. Orca whales? Push buttons to hear a number of different songs and what they mean.

Pacific Grove Museum bear

Flowers? Aside from the Annual Wildflower Show in mid-April  (2015 was the 54th year!) that HI Travel Tales visited and wrote about, there is an intimate native plants and flowers garden on the grounds. But it’s not your everyday run-of-the-mill garden that only attracts your grandmother. It has arbors and benches and even a most amazing so-called “Spirit Nest” — a hanging circular entwinement of branches that begs to be sat in (definitely encouraged).

Pacific Grove Museum Spirit Nest

Hands-on fun for kids and adults at the Pacific Grove Museum

This museum is hands-on to the nth degree. Kids can go on a scavenger hunt where they have to track down answers and find things in the museum … like a whale’s eyeball! Once completed, they take the form to the Pacific Grove Museum gift shop (which in itself has a really cool collection of goodies) and they get to pick out a small piece of

Pyrite (a.k.a. fool’s good) to take home. All included in the admission price. In the native plant garden, they (you too!) can dig around in a “fossil pit” and find a real fossil to take home.

Pacific Grove Museum fossil pit

Did we say yet this museum is cool? According to the Pacific Grove Museum’s website, its mission is to inspire discovery, wonder, and stewardship of our natural world.


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