San Diego is known for its incredibly diverse terrain, ranging from the beaches to the slopes. This terrain is what makes the region one of only 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world, meaning areas that have the highest concentration of different species of any geographic area of similar size. Coast to Cactus illustrates that richness and takes visitors on a journey through southern California’s habitats, from coast to chaparral, and from mountain forests to deserts.
Through immersive environments (hands-on interactive exhibits, live animals, life-like mounted specimens, and innovative media), Coast to Cactus will help visitors discover what it means to be a biodiversity hotspot: the story of why one region is home to so many species, why those species are so critically threatened at this moment in history, and why it matters.
Coast to Cactus in Southern California is located on Level 2 of the Museum adjacent to its sister exhibition Fossil Mysteries, which gives visitors a prehistoric look at the San Diego region. Together, the two exhibitions tell the story of southern California from the prehistoric era to present day.