Directly across the street from the grand cliffs of White Point Beach sits a nature preserve that is rich in history, alive with native plants, and absolutely beconing nature enthsiasts to enter. This preserve offers a native plant garden, short and easy hiking trails, an old Nike Missile Launch Pad, an old gun bunker from times of war, and an especially nice Nature Education Center. Birds and butterflies are abundant and flit about the preserve as people enjoy the beauty and tranquility the preserve offers.
Official Website: White Point Nature Preserve
Check the website for hours…the nature center is only open on select days (currently Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays).
Location: 1600 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731
Kid Friendly? Absolutely! The kiddos will enjoy the short & easy hike around the preserve. Nature buffs will learn a ton in the well-organized, very hands-on nature center.
Fido Friendly? Yes – Dogs allowed on the trails on-leash. Bags provided…if you can get past the snails!
Cost: Free! Parking is free in their lot and on the street. Metered parking is available across the street at the White Point Royal Palms beach entrance. There are a few items available for purchase in the Nature Education Center.
Attire: Weather-appropriate walking clothes and sturdy walking shoes and/or hiking boots. Long pants recommended if hiking around the preserve.
What to Bring: Sunscreen, water, sack lunch if desired. Swimming attire and/or beach gear if you plan on heading down the cliffs to the tidepools below.
The Main Event: The Nature Education Center was our favorite part of this excursion (although my 15 year old nephew was fascinated by the war remnants). As far as small nature centers go, this one is top-notch for the children as there are an abundance of hands-on learning opportunities. From matching rubber animal scat to the correct animals, digging in mulch for hidden rubber creatures, petting pelts, and feeling birds nests, there is something for every age and interest. The preserve itself boasts a gorgeous native garden filled with scent of desert flowers and teeming with birds and butterflies. There are vault toilets on premises.
Easter Eggs (Fun Little Extras!): There is an old gun bunker and Nike Missile Launch Pad on the preserve! Ask the attendant in the nature preserve to see their binder filled with the rich history of these war-time remnants.
Things to Note: This preserve is directly across from the White Point Royal Palms County Beach (click HERE to see our adventures in the tide pools). upper parking area. As this doesn’t take long to explore, I would recommend pairing this adventure with tidepool exploration on the rocks below. Remember to bring water.