Central California Coast Visits

San Juan Bautista

Mission San Juan Bautista

2nd and Mariposa St

San Juan Bautista, CA 95045




February 2001

This is a venerable historic mission along highway 101 in the central part of California.


Casa de Fruita

Casa de Fruita

10021 Pacheco Pass Highway

Hollister CA 95023



It may have started out as a fruit stand, but it has added a number of attractions, including a narrow-gauge railroad and campground.  The grounds host a large collection of deteriorating farm equipment.  You can get very close and see how these things operated.


January 2008


Monterey, CA

City of Pacific Grove: Museum of Natural History

165 Forest Ave

Pacific Grove, CA 93950






February 2001

The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History is rather small and focuses on Monarch Butterflies that over-winter in the area.


Plan your visit to the Monterey Peninsula in January or February and enjoy the Monarch Butterfly winter resting area.  Stop by the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History to find the best places to view them when you are there.

Friends of the Monarchs  

PO Box 51683 

Pacific Grove, CA 93950




The Friends of the Monarchs work to ensure save habitat for the Monarch Butterflies that over-winter on the Monterey Peninsula.  They track the butterflies and are well-situated to carry out population monitoring, location or other data collection for scientific studies.


February 2001

Monterey Bay Aquarium

886 Cannery Row

Monterey CA 93940-1085

408-648-4800 fax - - 4810 



The class-act of aquaria, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will spoil you for any other.  The permanent exhibits are excellent.  The Aquarium hires many teenage docents and also runs “real-science” research at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, North of Monterey.


February 2001

February 2002

February 2008


7700 Sandholdt Rd.

Moss Landing, CA 95039




The Monterery Bay Aquarium Research institute performs marine research and outreach from Moss Landing, between Monterey and Santa Cruz on Highway 1.


June 2002


Carmel Mission Basilica  

Rio Rd and Lasuen Dr.

Carmel, CA 93921  




Carmel Mission is another beautifully-preserved mission.  It is currently still used as a Catholic Church.


February 2001

San Francisco, CA

3601 Lyon St
San Francisco, CA 94123



December 2001

The Exploratorium is the class-act of the hands-on science museums.  Noisy and exciting for kids, adult need to let-go, relax and let the kids have fun.

Lompoc, CA

Mission San Miguel  

775 Mission St
San Miguel, CA 93451




December 2001

Mission San Miguel is conveniently located along US 101.  This is no accident because the original mission route, El Camino Real, eventually became the highway.  Sadly, the Mission itself is not in particularly good repair despite its ongoing historical value.

Old Town Lompoc Heritage Walk


The town of Lompoc is known for its flowers and its murals.  When flowers are out of season (like when we were there), the murals take center stage.  This short walking tour, sponsored by local citizens brings the murals up close.


December 2001

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park  

2295 Purisima Rd

Lompoc CA 93436



Mission La Purisima is a California State Park, with all the political-correctness that such status bring.  Nevertheless, the mission structure and grounds are well-maintained.  A re-enactment day would be quite interesting, though who knows what Sacramento would make it into.  La Purisimia suffers from distance from heavily-populated areas.   Or perhaps that’s a benefit.  It is not crowded.


December 2001

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

321 Town Center West

Santa Maria CA 93458 





December 2001

This museum is geared to children, according to the information we had.  Unfortunately, we were unable to locate it before the time became too late.

Santa Cruz, CA

Seymour Long Marine Discovery Center

End of Delaware Avenue,

Westside Santa Cruz, CA


Friends of LML/UCSC Foundation

100 Shaffer Rd

Santa Cruz, CA 95060



June 2002

May 2003



San Jose, CA

Almaden Youth Association

PO Box 63

New Almaden, CA 95042-0063


June 2002


The AYA is working to build a sports park in the South part of San Jose.  The city is very supportive and has contributed to the effort, but it still appears that the bulk of the funding must come from private sources.

Almaden Valley Youth Soccer League




October 2004

The AVYSL serves approximately 2200 children per year.  It runs approximately 25 playing fields at nearly a dozen schools and parks.


See companion documents on this site on goal construction for 4’x6’ goals and goal anchor attachments.

San Jose Historical Museum

1650 Senter Rd.

San Jose, CA

(408) 287-2290



May 2001


Santa Teresa County Park

June 2002


Tech Museum of Innovation

201 S. Market St.

San Jose, CA 95113-2008




February 2002


Silicon Valley’s technology museum.  If you visit the are, you need to see it.  The focus is more on engineering than science.  There are many hands-on exhibits.  My favorite was the make-your-own-recombinant DNA exhibit.

San Jose Symphony

100 N. Almaden Ave

San Jose CA 95110




February 2002

The San Jose Symphony went bankrupt in 2002.  Their financial difficulties were hidden as they sold subscriptions to a season they knew they couldn’t finish.  There is a new symphony in San Jose now, but I’m just not that interested.  Once burned, twice shy.

South Valley YMCA


May 2003

Among the YMCA’s programs is the Guides and Princesses (they’ve recently dropped the references to native Americans).  One sub-group organizes an annual outing to San Jose Family Camp.  Goals include parent-child bonding over games and chores and outdoor activities.

St. Frances Cabrini School

5325 Woodard Rd.

 San Jose, CA 95124

(408) 377-6545




St. Frances Cabrini School is a Catholic PK-8 grade school.  Like schools the world over, they need assistance with class material, particularly in the area of science and technology, as well as support for their enrichment programs, such as amateur athletics.


Mountain View, California

SETI Institute

515 N. Whisman Rd.

Mountain View, CA 94043







February 2002

Frank Drake Award, August 2003

Many visits 2006-2009


The SETI Institute is the real, hard-science people looking for evidence of intelligent life in the universe.  Don’t talk to them about Area 51 or flying saucers; you won’t get in the door.  But if you are interested in radio astronomy, extra-solar planets or exo-biology, this is the place to contact.  They are currently building the Allen Telescope Array – an array of radio telescopes designed to search for radio signals like those we’ve been radiating into space for decades.  (See the Hat Creek entry in “Northern California”.


There is a small exhibit at the office highlighting ongoing science projects. 


Check the weekly science webcast at http://radio.seti.org


We recommend the “Voyages Through Time” science course at the high school level.  Contact: Edna DeVore.

Computer History Museum

1401 N. Shoreline Blvd.

Mountain View CA 94043  




Every computer you ever used to work on is here.  Every computer you’ve ever heard of is here.  The first internet node is here!  And more.


Note restricted hours!  As of Aug 2007 the museum is only open Wed-Sun in the afternoons.


The babbage difference engine is supposed to be there through 2009.


June 2003

March 2004

Many visits 2004-2009

NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, California 94035
 (650) 604-5000



NASA Ames Research Center has a visitor center and museum just outside the main gate on Moffett Blvd., just off Highway 101.  The grounds are open to the public for a few events yearly.  We visited for the “Back to the Moon” celebration.


September 2008


Milpitas, CA  

Milpitas Community Museum

559 E. Calaveras

Milpitas, CA 95035




February 2002

Tucked in among stores and movie theaters is the quiet Milpitas Community Museum.  It was small, but we all stayed for hours.


Berkeley, CA

Project Phoenix

Space Science Lab

University of California

Berkeley, CA


Dan Werthimer


February 2003


This is the group that runs seti@home.


There’s nothing to see, but they’re good guys.

Lawrence Hall of Science

Centennial Drive

Berkeley, CA, 94720-5200



UC Berkeley

They have an active daily program for kids.