Shipley Nature Center in Huntington Beach

Located in Huntington Beach Central Park, Shipley Nature Center stretches across 18 acres of fenced California native habitat, offering a serene escape for visitors where more than 200 bird species have been spotted. Named after former Huntington Beach Mayor, Donald D. Shipley, the ecological oasis opened in 1974 and serves as a family-friendly outing that’s both fun and educational. Dr. Shipley's wanted to have a place in Huntington Beach that reflected what California was 100 years ago.

Things to do at Shipley Nature Center

Relish the sights, smells, and sounds of countryside living at the Shipley Nature Center, a charming place where one can imagine life in Huntington Beach over a century ago. With over 4,000 feet of trails, Shipley invites you to meander peacefully through eight habitats, including Oak Woodland, Meadow, Redwood Grove, Coastal Sage Scrub, Blackbird Pond, Riparian Woodland, Torrey Pine, and Southern Oak Woodland. Go bird watching and wander self-guided trails to find freshwater ponds, stately oak trees, and come spring, brilliant orange California Poppies. 

Stop by the Interpretive Center in Shipley Nature Center and discover a bird detective display revealing the characteristics, behavior, and presence of birds seen at Shipley Nature Center along with a diorama, exhibit panels that show the history of Huntington Beach from the Ice Age to present day, and a gift shop. 

Discover the marvelous gardens of Shipley Nature including, Butterfly Garden, Hummingbird Garden, Riparian Garden, Waterwise Garden, and the Color Gardens. The gardens were created by Guy Stivers, a landscape architect, who used plants found in native habitats to showcase how a home garden can attract wildlife. The gardens are ADA accessible. 

Shipley Nature Center Trail in Huntington Beach

Shipley Nature Center Programs

Shipley Nature Center offers cool summer nights from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM offering presentations, performances or simply walking the trails for adults to connect and learn about nature. In addition, Shipley Nature Center hosts Summer Day Camps for the youth from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM during the weekdays for ages 6 to 11 years old, with leadership and camp opportunities for ages 12 to 17 years. The youth experience unique activities that incorporate science, fun, learning, and being outdoors. The summer camp has themed daily activities that are science and nature-based including a daily nature journal prompt and a take-home craft. 

Visit their website to learn more about Shipley Nature Center's programs. 

Shipley Nature Center Hours and Location

The Shipley Nature Center in Huntington Beach is open to walk-in visitors on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday between 9 AM to 1 PM and on the first Friday of the month from 9 AM to 6 PM (or dusk). In the event of heavy rain or wind, the center may be closed. Donations of $3 per person are suggested by Shipley Nature Center to help keep the gates open and the habitat safe & wildlife friendly. Donations are accepted through PayPal. 

Docent-led tours are available for $5/person, and you can schedule this by completing the tour request form on their website. 

Shipley Nature Center is located north of Goldenwest Street and Talbert Avenue, the center offers free parking just a short walk from the main gate.

  • Main Parking Lot: 17851 Goldenwest Street Huntington Beach, CA 92647

  • Alternate Parking Lot: 6741 Central Park West Huntington Beach, CA 92647 

Just five miles from the Huntington Beach Pier sprawls Huntington Beach Central Park, a lush 350-acre oasis lauded as the largest city-owned park in Orange County. Exploring the meandering trails and attractions during your visit is a must. 

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