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5.0
173 votes

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

250 San Simeon Ave, San Simeon, California 93452 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Open Now
Thu 10a-4p
  • Independent
  • No Wifi
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“6 miles of shoreline with sunning seals”

Friends of the Elephant Seal is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about elephant seals and other marine life and teaching stewardship for the ocean off the central coast of California. It is a cooperating association with California State Parks. The northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris, is an extraordinary marine mammal. It spends eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1000 to 5800 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours, and migrating thousands of miles, twice a year, to its land-based rookery for birthing, breeding, molting, and rest. Piedras Blancas is a great place to view these remarkable creatures during their time onshore. The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery spreads over 6 miles of shoreline around Point Piedras Blancas on the central coast of California. The viewing areas are located 90 miles south of Monterey, 5 miles north of Hearst Castle State Historical Monument in San Simeon, 1.5 miles south of Point Piedras Blancas. The viewing areas are open every day of the year, are wheelchair accessible, and free. No reservations required.

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Reviewed by
IslandTosh

  • 2 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
August 07, 2018
Rated 5.0

Fun place to visit if you're into nature. We visited during the summer (fewest elephant seals) but there were still several dozen on the beach and in the water. Close enough to see them well and get good pictures and video.

Note that there's a gift shop that comes up on search results that is a few miles south of the actual rookery. If you're pulling up to a place with a few hotels and inns, you're by the gift shop. To see the actual seals you'll need to drive north on PCH a few miles from there.

Interestingly, as we were heading south on PCH after we were done, we saw zebras running in the hills just east of PCH.

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Reviewed by
janat

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 30, 2017
Rated 5.0

Great place to visit. Lots of seals. Very close too!

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Reviewed by
Teresa Barajas

  • 13 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
December 20, 2017

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery is home to hundreds of newly shored up seals, adorably resting together. After a long journey of hunting for food in the ocean, elephant seals come to shore to sleep and feed their new-borns. We watched them twist and turn in their sleep all day! Some seals were focused on their sweet slumber while others were intent on fighting each other for the rights of the territory. Their mannerisms and facial expressions were in some ways so similar to humans. You could tell when they were annoyed from being awakened or when they were getting comfy in the warm sand.

The sublime ocean views paired with the adorable seals made this one of my favorite stops on Highway 1. The beach had plenty of parking as well as informative information spread throughout the shore fence. Would highly recommend spending at least half an hour here, just to watch the seals and feel the warm sun set.

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Reviewed by
SandeepGyawali

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
April 11, 2017
Rated 5.0

The marker is located way off from where the actual rookery is. But it's worth finding. It's where these massive elephant seals come to mate and give birth during the appropriate times of year. Very unique.

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Reviewed by
sukhidhillon

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
June 26, 2015

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

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Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

250 San Simeon Ave
San Simeon, California
93452 USA

Hours

Open now until 4:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Is there a problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Independent
  • No Wifi
  • Yes Parking
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