This continuously busy area was the site of a whaling station from 1862 to 1879. Where visitors now park, an abalone cannery once operated, and traces remain of a granite quarry, said to have supplied the stone for the San Francisco Mint.
Registered SCUBA divers enter the water here to enjoy that part of the underwater reserve open to them in Whalers and Bluefish Coves. Two outdoor exhibits describe subtidal life and climatic conditions.
The boulders at the water's edge provide a favorite habitat for the California ground squirrel. This is a good spot from which to survey the cove and locate various birds, rafting sea otters, or basking harbor seals which frequent the area.
A short walk up the road leads to Whalers Cabin. Built by Chinese fishermen in the 1850's, it is now a cultural history museum. The Whaling Station Museum, opened in 1994, is adjacent. Both are open as docent staffing permits.
On the west side of the Whalers Cabin is the Cabin Trail. This short walk up the hill through the coastal scrub community takes you to the North Shore Trail.