Coastal Nature Preserves

Tijuana Slough Wildlife Reserve | Imperial Beach | Offering 1051 acres and over 370 bird species, this rare wetland preserve is a bird-watcher’s paradise. A salt-water marsh beside the ocean, the birds have a precious habitat where they can roost and multiply. Trails extending from the south end of Seacoast Drive allow hikers and ornithologists a chance at a rare glimpse.
Sweetwater Marsh | Chula Vista | The Chula Vista Nature Center & gardens are home to the 316 acre Sweetwater Marsh. Protecting many of the same species as the Tijuana Slough and South Bay Refuges, the Center offers interactive exhibits, guided nature & bird walks, as well as a shark & ray exhibit. Native birds along with rescued owls, shore birds, egrets & herons are available for viewing in outdoor aviaries.
Otay-Sweetwater San Diego NWR | Chula Vista | Inland, with 44,000 diverse acres of coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodland & fresh water marsh. Home to the endangered Least Bell’s Vireo, California Gnatcatcher, Quino Checkerspot & the San Diego Horned lizard. Wildlife viewing, birding, hiking, research, conservation, photography, and guided walks are available. Some areas off limits to hikers.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve | La Jolla | More than just a home to the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course, this popular Reserve offers breathtaking ocean views, mountain & beach trails, and the rare Torrey Pines. Enjoy a lofty hike or take a leisurely stroll to the perfect picnic spot with dramatic views of La Jolla & beyond. The beach is pristine, and the sunsets turn towering cliffs to a golden hue.
San Elijo Lagoon | Cardiff | Bordered by Solana Beach, Cardiff by the Sea, Rancho Santa Fe, and the Pacific Ocean, San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve offers 1000 acres to explore, with 7 miles of mostly level & easy trails. Leashed dogs are welcome. Home to a diverse number of birds, flora & fauna, it is one of the last remaining coastal wetlands in San Diego County. Birding tips (and photos) from Mary Beth Stowe.
Batiquitos Lagoon | Carlsbad | A family-friendly 610 acre reserve to the south of Carlsbad, Batiquitos offers a level and easy 2 mile trail with plenty of birds to watch. There are group walks & activities scheduled. Birds abound, from common species to endangered and protected. Leashed dogs welcome in this protected habitat by the sea.

Related  wildlife & reserve links for San Diego:

Information is provided as a convenience, and believed to be correct. Verification is the responsibility of the User.