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Accessible Travel Guides

Access Northern California

Access Santa Cruz County

Accessible Nature Travel

Accessible San Diego

San Francisco Access Guide

A Wheelchair Rider's Guide to the Los Angeles and Orange County Coast (interactive guide, pdf version)

A Wheelchair Rider’s Guide: San Francisco Bay and Nearby Coast

General Coast Guides

The California Coastal Commission has produced an excellent series of guides to the coast, beginning with the California Coastal Resource Guide in 1987. All are worth having, even though some of the information in the older guides is now outdated.

Experience the California Coast is the Coastal Commission's three-book series covering the beaches and parks of northern, central, and southern California, published between 2005 and 2009. These guides provide a wealth of detail on sites all along the coast, including beaches, public access ways, parks, campgrounds, nature preserves, aquariums, and museums, with detailed maps.

California Coastal Access Guide (2003) is an essential visitor handbook, with details about access and facilities along California's entire 1,100 miles of shoreline.

California Coastal Resource Guide (1987) is a comprehensive guide to the coast's natural and cultural resources.


Access Organizations and Legal Information

Guidelines for Developed Outdoor Areas (includes beach access routes and trails)

Americans with Disabilities Act

National Center on Accessibility

Beach Wheelchairs

Specially designed chairs that roll over sand are available free of charge at many beaches. Most are manually operated and must be pushed by someone, but a few in southern California are motorized and can be operated independently. Each beach has its own policies regarding chair use. Typically they cannot be reserved in advance, but it's advisable to call before you visit to check availability. List of beaches (pdf) that had beach wheelchairs as of summer 2010.

Beach Wheelchairs For Purchase

Beach Cruzr



Agencies and Organizations Promoting Coastal Protection,

Restoration, and Public Access

Coastal Commission

Coastal Conservancy


California Coastkeeper

Great Coastal Places Campaign (Sierra Club)

Save San Francisco Bay


Guided Hikes and Outings for People with Disabilities

North Coast

Disabled Adventure Outfitters

San Francisco Bay Area

Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors
Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program
Environmental Traveling Companions
On the Level San Francisco

Walking In Sonoma County...Mostly

Santa Cruz Area

Ride a Wave
Shared Adventures



National and State Parks

Cabrillo National Monument (access page)
Point Reyes National Seashore (access page)
Golden Gate National Recreation Area (access page)
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy (general information about GNRA)
California State Parks (access page)
Santa Cruz State Parks (general information)
State Parks of the San Luis Obispo County Coast (general information)

Regional Parks

East Bay Regional Parks (access page)
Sonoma County Regional Parks (access page)

Trails Information and Organizations

Bay Area Hiker (accessible trails page for San Francisco Bay Area)
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (accessible trails page for San Francisco Bay Area)
The Trail Center (accessible trails page for San Francisco Bay Area)
California Coastal Trail
Rails to Trails Conservancy

San Francisco Bay Area Wheelchair Accessible Trails
San Francisco Bay Trail

Transit & Trails


Discount Passes and Licenses

State Parks discount passes
National Parks discount passes
Fishing licenses

More About Coastal Places

Coast & Ocean

Coastal Records Project


Plants and Animals


PRBO Conservation Science

Cornell Lab of Ornithology (general information about birds and bird-watching)
California Bird Watching
California County Geographic Birding Guide
California's Central Coast Birding Trail

California Academy of Sciences California Wildflowers
Wildflowers of the Central California Coast

California Department of Fish and Game's Complete List of Amphibian, Reptile, Bird and Mammal Species in California

Monterey County Birds, Cetaceans, Odes, Herps & More

Academy of Sciences



Monterey Bay Aquarium

Aquarium of the Bay

California Academy of Sciences (Steinhart Aquarium)

Aquarium of the Pacific

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium








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Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.   California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy