Visit Us

Nature Center Hours

Thursday through Saturday

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


10:00AM – 2:00PM

Monday – Wednesday


*holiday hours may vary*

Admission to Nature Center: Donation

The Neal Taylor Nature Center is a non-profit museum that depends on donations, memberships, and grants.

The Nature Center is located within Cachuma Lake Recreation Area, a Santa Barbara County Park.

There is a $10 per vehicle county fee except for Annual Day Use permit holders.

Nature Center Memberships Benefits at Associate level or above include an Annual Day Use permit.

Bring Your Group

to the Nature Center!

Are you bringing a large group of people (15 or more) to the Nature Center?

  • We charge a $1 fee per person for group tours and activities. 
  • Groups of 15 or more, school groups and summer camp groups are required to contact us and book in advance. This ensures we have enough of our volunteer docents available at that time.
  • The nature center building has a capacity of 20 people at a time. If your group is larger than 20, we ask that you plan to split into smaller groups and allow 20-30 minutes for each group to explore the nature center.
  • We offer special activities for groups and for kids upon request.

Contact The Nature Center

Phone:  805-693-0691


Group activities we can offer:

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Educational Games
  • Workshops & Talks
  • Scavenger Hunts

Getting Here

Directions to the Nature Center

The Nature Center is a 501 c3 non-profit organization located in the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area on Highway 154 (San Marcos Pass/Chumash Highway) between Santa Barbara (approximately 20 miles) and Santa Ynez (approximately 10 miles).

When you arrive in the park, take the second left on the main road. Right before that second left, you will see a large sign on a building in big green letters that says “Neal Taylor Nature Center”. 

Typing “Neal Taylor Nature Center” or “Cachuma Lake Recreation Area” into Google maps or Apple maps will get you here, or simply navigate from the map below by clicking “View larger map”.

Your contributions help!

The Neal Taylor Nature Center at Cachuma Lake is a 501(c)3 non-profit that runs completely on volunteers and donations.  Donations and volunteers help us maintain our exhibits, run events, and teach thousands of school children about the history and ecology of the Santa Ynez River Valley.

All donations can be made online, in person or by mail and are tax-deductable. We offer yearly memberships with special benefits. We also have residential volunteer camp host positions available.



Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana)