The Science Museum of Minnesota worked with the San Diego Natural History Museum to produce Coast to Cactus in Southern California. This 9,000-square-foot permanent exhibition takes visitors on a tour through the amazingly varied habitats of Southern California. In one day you can travel from the beach to the mountains and the desert, from sea level to 5,000-foot elevations. In Coast to Cactus visitors take their own tour, exploring the rich animal and plant life throughout the region. Immersive, life-sized dioramas, interactives, and live animals engage all the visitors' senses. The exhibit also explores how humans have become key players in these habitats, affecting the natural processes and changing relationships of animals and humans to each other and their landscapes. Coast to Cactus opened in San Diego in November 2014.
Coast to Cactus in Southern California was a winner of the Excellence in Exhibition Competition at the 2016 meeting of the American Alliance of Museums.