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Sea Lion Caves, Florence

3.5
#1 of 9 in Parks in Florence
Cave · Nature / Park
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The largest system of sea caves in the United States, Sea Lion Caves offers the chance to view sea lions up close in their natural habitat. Formed nearly 25 million years ago, the cave measures about 0.8 hectares (2 acres) and is 38 m (125 ft) high. Several caverns connected together by corridors make up the cave system. The Stellar Sea Lions and the California Sea Lions who make this cave their home are truly wild, so they move around freely. Staff can’t guarantee a sighting, but they recommend checking these four areas where the sea lions tend to hang out: in the cave, in the water, at the lookout or rookery, and on nearby rock ledges. Call ahead to confirm whether the sea lions are in the cave on the day of your visit. Even if they’re not, the impressive cave alone is worth a trip. Put Sea Lion Caves into our Florence trip maker site to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Florence.
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Sea Lion Caves reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
1,644 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Elevators not working. . . . Maybe up next week we were told. : ( Drove the extra hour just for this disappointing. . . . . . . .. . 
    Elevators not working. . . . Maybe up next week we were told. : ( Drove the extra hour just for this disappointing. . . . . . . .. .  more »
  • This was quite an experience. Although there were no seals in the ginormous cave, it was still so cool to ride the elevator down the 200 plus feet to see the cave and learn more about these... 
    This was quite an experience. Although there were no seals in the ginormous cave, it was still so cool to ride the elevator down the 200 plus feet to see the cave and learn more about these...  more »
  • There is no trick here. The cashier tells you that there are no sea lions inside the cave (October) so was not expecting any. I just wanted to see the cave, so bought a ticket. I thought it was... 
    There is no trick here. The cashier tells you that there are no sea lions inside the cave (October) so was not expecting any. I just wanted to see the cave, so bought a ticket. I thought it was...  more »
Google
  • The sea lions are really cool. Definitely worth checking out. The facilities are all really well maintained, and the signs are interesting to read. It does smell, though, which is to be expected from a bunch of any animals, but still good to keep in mind. If you have a hard time with smells it might be hard to enjoy. The pathways are also decently steep ramps, which can tire you out quickly. If you don't feel like taking a steep walk or might struggle with it, it's an important thing to understand.
  • Very cool experience. I loved the Sea Lion Caves as much as I loved the history and construction of the elevator. There was nobody else there when I went so that played a big role in my overall enjoyment. In the summer I bet it's a mad house. Lots of Sea Lions because it's the winter months. 💙
  • This was a fun thing to do on a Saturday afternoon! Lots of good info about sea lions and lots of fun watching them hang out in the cave. It's definitely a tourist trap thing, but I appreciated being able to see the sea lions in their natural habitat doing sea lion things. If I didn't have my kids with me I would have stayed longer and tried to see if I could spot any whales, but alas my kids got antsy.
  • As someone who has seen Sea Lions up close and personal in the Galápagos Islands this is still great! The animals are beautiful and you can (hopefully) see them in two locations. We recommend bringing binoculars or a camera with great lenses (200 mm +) for good views of the sea lions. While they say it’s only 37 steps to down, you still have to walk up and down hills for the views. This IS handicapped accessible if you can get down the 37 steps or they have another option for that.
  • Great gift shop with some very good fudge. Bathroom facilities outside were very clean! Extremely educational and a great experience for the entire family. We took a stroller and the 37 steps that were necessary to take were not bad at all to pack the stroller down and back up! They suggest taking a jacket, shoes, and binoculars, all are wise to bring as suggested.

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