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Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery

118 Reviews
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Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery

118 Reviews
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Location
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Bailard exit, Carpinteria, CA
Getting there
Carpinteria Station31 min
Get to know the area
Highway 1 Self-Driving Audio Tour (Pacific Coast Highway)
Wine Tasting & Winery Tours

Highway 1 Self-Driving Audio Tour (Pacific Coast Highway)

Welcome to the GPS-enabled driving tour of California’s famous Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway! This self-guided audio tour stretches between San Francisco and Los Angeles, one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world! It also includes a popular scenic detour along Monterey’s 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach. This self-guided audio tour allows you to explore Highway 1 with maximum flexibility and value.<br><br>Here's how it works: Within 30 mins, we'll send you two things: a unique password and an app. Download the app onto your phone, enter the password, and download the tour. When you arrive, go to the first stop, launch the app, and follow the instructions! Stick to our recommended route and speed limit for the best experience. <br><br>Recommended: purchase one tour per vehicle. Everyone can listen at the same time!<br><br>This tour doesn’t include entrance to attractions along the route. Check pandemic rules before your visit.
$15.00 per adult
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marierm wrote a review May 2020
Los Angeles, California116 contributions30 helpful votes
+1
You will only see seals here when they are birthing and raising their pups between January and May. The rest of the year you will not see seals, and there will be noise from the pier, but it's a lovely hike. Extend the hike by walking through to Carpenteria State Beach.
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Date of experience: May 2020
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Richard D wrote a review Mar 2020
Fennville, Michigan134 contributions48 helpful votes
Four of us visited last week. It is a little tricky to find. GPS directions brought us to a private oil company facility just north, so we had to drive back south to find the public parking area for the preserve. The rookery viewpoint is not well marked, but usually you can ask someone on the trails to point you. Careful—you need to cross the railroad tracks on your own. The viewpoint is on a bluff well above the beach, so binoculars are helpful. The friendly volunteers who are there during certain hours informed us that around 50 seal pups had been born within the last few weeks. We could see many of them clearly, and it was fun to see them follow their mothers around and for some of them to swim. There aren’t any educational displays, so might want to read up in advance.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Orleansfoodie96 wrote a review Feb 2020
Ottawa, Canada33 contributions15 helpful votes
Seeing these harbour seals in real life, even from the top of the cliff, was surreal, we see so much on the nature channels and in magazines but the real thing moved us. We wish we had brought binoculars. The volunteer who does observations and seal counts was knowledgeable and let others use her binoculars. One caveat, it’s a guessing game to find the right path to the seals.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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SueSuitecase wrote a review Jan 2020
Salt Lake City, Utah107 contributions23 helpful votes
It's a bit of a walk to get to the point that you can view the seals from the cliff edge. On the day we visited (Jan 23, 2020), only about 50 seals were laying on the beach. They do not move much, and from the only viewpoint which is overhead from the cliff's edge, you cannot see very much detail, but it is exciting to see wildlife in its natural habitat, and the walk is very beautiful! Keep walking north and the trail will lead down to the beach beyond the seal area, and you will come upon Tar PItt Beach. It is really cool to see black tar oozing up from the earth! We took flip flops we could toss but didn't get any tar on our feet after all.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Zangi wrote a review Dec 2019
Santa Barbara, California44 contributions45 helpful votes
This preserve is so enjoyable just to be out in nature and see the seals habitat as they hang out! You can get off at Bailard and it will show you the preserve- prepare to walk some but it is so worth it. Or if you are camping at Carpinteria you can take a path down to the preserve. It is such a nice day to be out and to see the wildlife hanging out.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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