3 Places to See Wild Sea Lions on the West Coast

Everyone loves viewing animals in the wild, and there’s nothing better than getting glimpse of some of the animal kingdom’s most playful members. Wild sea lions have long drawn crowds to watch their playful water antics and adorable babies. Check out three of the best places to view them in all of their wild and free splendor on the west coast.

Sea Lion Caves – Florence, OR

wild sea lions

via flickr/sam_churchill

At the Sea Lion Caves, located in Florence, Oregon, guests will not only get up close and personal with wild sea lions, they’ll get the full auditory experience as well. The acoustics of this naturally formed sea cave enhances the sea lions cheerful garble and will surround visitors with its pleasant cacophony. This is a privately owned wildlife reserve that’s a year round home to the Steller sea lions. Because they are still completely wild, there are times during the year where the caves are empty of sea lions. Winter is the best time to go as the caves will be filled with hundreds of sea lions. Spring brings birthing season, and summer will find the sea lions lounging on the rocks outside the caves.


Point Lobos State Reserve – Carmel, CA

wild sea lions

via flickr/Ray Bouknight

This next location actually got its name from its resident sea lions. The Spanish originally dubbed the area “Punto de los Lobos Marinos,” or “point of the sea wolves,” and it is now simply known as Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel, California. From August to June, these beaches and rocks are filled with hundreds of sleek sea lions of all sizes and ages. From June to August the males leave their safe haven and head out to the Channel Islands while the females and their young stay in Point Lobos year round.


Port Dock 1 – Newport, OR

wild sea lions

via flickr/OCVA

Guests who are hankering to catch the lazier side of the California sea lion should check out Port Dock 1 in Newport, Oregon, a fairly recent haven for a large cluster of sea lions. This group likes to hang out among the fishing docks, entertaining guests and barking enthusiastically at passersby. Locals have such a fondness for these mammals that they are raising money to repair and maintain the sea lions’ docks. Visitors can also get a firsthand glimpse of the Steve Brown isolation procedure, a way to isolate injured sea lions for treatment.

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