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Sea Lion Caves, Florence

(1,000+ reviews on the web)
Cave
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. Add Sea Lion Caves and other attractions to your Florence trip itinerary using our Florence trip generator.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Sea Lion Cave is a must see! Parking is easy , you pay in the cafe, & off along the walk to the lift that takes you down to the cave, sea lions are frolicking in groups in the ocean, gorgeous view...  more »
  • The children and I thought this was a really cool little stop on the way up highway 101. We took our time listening to the video and really watching the animals swim in and out of the cave.  more »
  • While a local server told me you can go to free beaches to see sea lions .... this one is easy to find & right on the highway. Great gift shop. Good info in the cave. Very cool to ee so many different...  more »
Google
  • If you are sensitive to smell or struggle with small enclosed spaces, do not recommend. It was a nice view and walk to reach the elevator. The elevator was crowded, but once the doors opened, it was even more crowded in the actual viewing cave. The smell was so awful. It hit you like a brick wall when the elevator doors opened. We were only in there for maybe 5 minutes before we went back to the elevator. Not really worth the price. The sea lions were neat, but the smell was unbearable.
  • It was very cool to see the caves. Check before going as the sea lions aren't always there. They were out feeding so we didn't get to see them, but we were given a rain check to come back in the next year. It was still very cool to see. The only downside is all the stairs you need to go down to get there and back up when you are done.
  • Enjoyed my time here. As others said it has an elevator going down slowly and is the only entrance/exit going 200 feet below. There were lots of sea lions inside the cave when I visited. Some of the sea lions were sitting quite nearby I felt while some were far. It still was an experience for me nonetheless. The view of the lighthouse nearby was great and so was the weather. :)
  • This is definitely something you do at least once if you can appreciate natural wonders and wildlife. Be wary of what time of the year it is because that affects where exactly the sea lions will be. You'll always be able to see them, but it may not be in the actual sea cave. The sea cave itself is quite a sight, it's hard to believe that something like it exists naturally. That said, getting there involves a bit of steep walking and a long elevator ride. It's not bad, but something to note. I'd say the biggest downside is that the price is a little high for how much time you'll actually spend there. Try not to let that discourage you too much, though.
  • Quicknpit stop. Good attraction... lots of stuff to waste money on... good for loading up on snacks as well.... COFFEE!!!