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Group Visits

Coming with a big group (12+ people)? Give us a heads-up! We’ll help you customize a self-guided experience with various indoor and outdoor activities. Coming with a school group? Head over to School Programs.

If your preferred date or time is unavailable, please email . We may be able to accommodate additional groups on a case-by-case basis.

Book self-guided group visit

Younger Lagoon Tours

This 90-minute, behind-the-scenes hiking tour takes visitors into Younger Lagoon Reserve adjacent to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. Part of the University of California Natural Reserve System, Younger Lagoon Reserve contains diverse coastal habitats and is home to birds of prey, migrating sea birds, bobcats, and other wildlife. Come and see what scientists are doing to track local mammals, restore native habitats, and learn about the workings of one of California’s rare coastal lagoons. A tour is offered on selected Thursdays and Saturdays of each month beginning at 10:30 AM.

Younger Lagoon Reserve tours are free and open to the public. Space is limited to 18 participants. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Tours are best suited for children 10 years of age and older. Participants must be physically able to walk up and down steep inclines. Water and weather protection is strongly suggested.

Book Younger Lagoon Tour

Dates & Availability
Younger Lagoon Reserve Tours are offered on selected Thursdays and Saturdays of each month beginning at 10:30 AM:
  • Thursday, November 2
  • Saturday, November 11
  • Thursday, December 7
  • Thursday, December 9 
UCSC requires parking permits Monday–Friday, 8 AM–5 PM, except holidays. Hourly and daily parking permits are available through ParkMobile. The ParkMobile zone is 15154. No permits are necessary on weekends or after hours.

Free parking is available near the entrance of the Coastal Science Campus in Lot 207 (3 hours maximum). If parking in Lot 207, plan to enjoy a 15-minute walk to the Seymour Center’s public entrance. See a Coastal Science Campus parking map.

We encourage everyone to arrive by alternative transportation if possible.

  • Buses: Santa Cruz Metro route 22 stops at Seymour Center. Plan your bus route.
  • Bikes: We offer plenty of bike racks around Seymour Center and throughout the Coastal Science Campus.


Approximately 90 minutes for entire tour. Plan extra time to explore the whale skeletons, shark pool, aquarium, and exhibits after your tour.
Virtual Tour

Younger Lagoon Reserve is now offering a virtual tour in both English and Spanish. This virtual tour follows the same stops as our behind-the-scenes hiking tour, and is led by a UC Santa Cruz student! Click on the links below to access either of the tours.

Younger Lagoon Reserve Virtual Tour Reserva Younger Lagoon Paseo Virtual

Reserve a Behind-the-Scenes Research Tour

Returning in Fall 2023, join our skilled docents on a 30-minute tour around the Seymour Marine Discovery Center and parts of Long Marine Laboratory. Come face-to-face with our blue whale skeleton and travel to an overlook to see where and how marine mammal research happens at UC Santa Cruz. Subscribe to the mailing list (below) to be the first to hear when these tours are back.