Sea Lion Caves
Sea Lion Caves
4
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Considered the largest sea cave in the United States, this site is where Steller sea lions and their cubs take shelter each year. Sea Lion Caves is a privately owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary. The Caves has been in operation since 1932 preserving and protecting the wildlife under our care. We are open 363 days a year only closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving day. Our normal hours of operation are 9 am until dusk year round. We are not a zoo and the animals are free to come and go as they please. The sea lions can usually be found at either of four locations on the property; in the Cave, in the water, at the Lookout/rockery, and on other nearby rock ledges. HOWEVER, THE SEA LIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS IN THE CAVE OR MAY BE MIGRATING OUT OF AREA - THEY ARE WILD ANIMALS AND COME AND GO AS THE PLEASE. CALL AHEAD FOR INFORMATION. Self-guided are the rule, but guided tours are available.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • OKCdatenights
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma401 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Road Trip Stop
    We stopped here on a recent road trip. Our entire family rest enjoyed it. It took us less than an hour to see the entire thing. We absolutely loved seeing the baby sea lions playing , so adorable. The underground sea cave itself is definitely something worse seeing.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 2, 2023
  • Brian B
    Marion, Ohio83 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good short-duration stop
    This is a good stop to make when traveling the Oregon coast. It is a nice 1-2 hour stopover. The cave is impressive in scale, and we saw a few dozen sea lions in the cave in mid-June. Even more sea lions were visible outside from the viewing platform, far below at the sea shore. If you want good photos, make sure to have a good zoom lens for your camera or phone.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 24, 2023
  • KJ
    Fitchburg, Wisconsin7 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Meh
    It looks like it would be cool to see if the sea lions are in the cave, otherwise it's not worth the money. If coming from Eugene, it's a good place to stop to use the bathroom. Has a decent size souvenir store and good view of Heceta Head Lighthouse.
    Sorry you didn't get to experience Sea Lion Caves for yourself. Unlike a zoo, all of the animals at Sea Lion Caves, come and go as they please as Sea Lion Caves is an all-natural wildlife preserve and marine sanctuary. There are times that the sea lions are outside of the cave. Our policy is to inform all visitors if there are no sea lions in the cave. Guests that do purchase a ticket, receive a discounted price as well as a free return voucher that is valid for one full year. Most guest tell us that seeing America's largest naturally formed sea cave (that was formed over 25 million years ago) is worth the price of admission even when the sea lions are out. Sea Lion Caves. We're nothing short of wild!
    Written September 12, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 4, 2023
  • Christine C
    58 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Bucket list item for sure!
    This was better than we expected. We expected since we went in June that we wouldn't be able to see any seals, but we couldn't have been more wrong. Taking the elevator down to the cave was an awesome experience. There is a viewing area of the cave where we were able to watch tons of seals playing and hanging out. There are lookout from the cave of the ocean, and at times I found myself forgetting I was even a cave. Outside you are able to walk along paths and there are great ocean lookout spots where you can watch even more seals. We watched for whales but sadly didn't see any. They have a gift shop that is affordable and one of the only gift shops that I have been to that isn't majorily overpriced.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 8, 2023
  • Carrie N
    Eagle Grove, Iowa460 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sea Lions!
    This was a great stop! It was $18 to go down to the caves. There are also some good viewpoints past the entry point before you get to the caves. While walking to the elevator keep a look out for sea lions on the rocks down below! We heard them before we saw them. The cave itself does not take long to go through, but is fun. There were about 40 sea lions in the cave when we went. There were also a ton of birds to see if you go up the stairs.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 11, 2023
  • mehoe2000
    Meridian, Idaho134 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Where The Sea Lions Are
    When we are traveling we have to be in the right mood to stop at touristy spots like the Sea Lion Caves, but when we do they can be interesting and fun. This was true for the Sea Lion Caves on the coast between Florence and Yachats. For $16 per person you can wander around the observation platforms for views on the sea lion colonies and then ride the elevator 208 feet down into the cave. In the caves you can view the sea lions, the sea birds and even observe the Heceta Head Lighthouse from a distance. There is a lot of historical information. The staff is friendly but they make sure you follow the rules. The building is right on highway 101. There is limited parking and it can be challenging getting parked and into the building with cars and semi-trucks passing through the narrow area. Still, the stop is worth it and we had a good visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 9, 2023
  • tvf2k
    Lenexa, Kansas76 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the visit, if only once
    Certainly worth a stop, because it isn’t everyday you get to see pinnipeds in the wild living their best lives. Anyone can go to the zoo or aquarium, but there is something much more magical about animals in their natural habitat. The elevator takes you to a viewing area of the grotto, and it’s loud & stinky but when the tide is coming in, it’s a blast to watch the sea lions ‘catch a wave’. It’s like $18 for adults/teens and less for younger kids. On a clear-ish day, the viewing of the surf is amazing and the grotto is always covered.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 8, 2024
  • Laura W
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the drive to the Oregon Coast
    we were visiting friends and took the drive to Florence Oregon to visit the Sea Lion caves. The drive to the location was beautiful and well worth the drive. The caves were amazing the sea lions were mesmerizing!
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 24, 2024
  • Shyanne Y
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So many sea lions!
    We went 4/29. There were so many sea lions in the caves! The caves were smelly, but that was to be expected. They were also a little chilly, so make sure to dress warm or bring a jacket to wear while down there. The walkways to the elevator and the overlook were both paved and wide enough for multiple people to pass one another. The overlook had beautiful views of the ocean and the coast and the rocks down below were covered in sea lions too. The kids thought it was very cool!
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 29, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,678 reviews
Excellent
568
Very good
552
Average
356
Poor
135
Terrible
67

Dawn C
Los Angeles, CA78 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
It’s audacious that people would charge money to view wildlife in their own habitat let alone with hardly a view at all. This was a complete disappointment. It’s very busy and touristy although the staff doesn’t bug you to get moving - you can linger as long as you want - but they suggest 45 minutes. The only reason to give it 2 stars is that public spaces are very clean and obviously well maintained. Having to wear masks and socially distance due to Covid makes it even more annoying when busy. The way the place is constructed you have to pay in order to view the sea lions behind a cage or from a high cliff. I justified the ridiculous $14 per person price tag as supporting the local economy and hopefully the preservation of marine wildlife.
Written August 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting Sea Lion Caves. Sea Lion Caves is an all-natural wildlife preserve and marine sanctuary. None of the animals are held in cages or in pens. All are free to come and go as they choose. This naturally formed sea cave is where these animals choose to live. Our visitors get the experience to see how these animals live, play and interact with each other in their natural setting, which just happens to be America's largest naturally-formed sea cave. Our adult admission price is $14.00. Senior prices are $13.00. Children ages 5 to 12 are $8.00 each and children 4 and younger are free. Parking is also free. If you compare our prices to similar, family-oriented attractions, you'll find that our pricing is well below the average price. Preserving and protecting this natural monument for future generations to enjoy is something we are very proud to do. Sea Lion Caves. We're nothing short of wild!
Written August 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

reise-tanta-di
Lafayette, CA2,412 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Friends
This place is not new to me as I have visited it numerous times. But it is always different birds to see and sea lions to observe. This time I was showing my friend the sea lion sculptures (DancingWithSeaLions.com). There are two pieces of art at Sea Lion Caves. One, ‘Thalassa,’ by Brian Bloss, is placed outside the entrance. To see ‘Moonburst’ by Jane Connelley, you have to pay to get inside the caves. ‘Moonburst’ is painted a beautiful
dark blue with pieces of sparkling mosaic. It is stunning and worth seeing. I highly recommend a visit to the caves again, again and again.
Written September 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting Sea Lion Caves. We appreciate hearing from our guests about their experience with us and what they love about Sea Lion Caves. Always makes our day. The five-star rating is pretty awesome too! Thank you. Sea Lion Caves. We're nothing short of wild!
Written September 24, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cyndees
Woodburn, OR85 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Family
I called a day ahead to inquire about visiting...I got a two minute lecture about mask requirements but was not told that there are no sea lions at this time of year. We made a 3 hour drive with the grandkids only to be told that the sea lions are out feeding this time of year but they give 2$ off and you can come back during the coming year for free. Obviously no one does that as everyone is on vacation. Not much to see without the animals there. We felt quite taken advantage of.
Written November 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting Sea Lion Caves. At Sea Lion Caves, we are taking guest safety very seriously. It is necessary to follow many safety protocols to protect our guests and our staff. Because Sea Lion Caves is an all-natural wildlife preserve and marine sanctuary, all of the animals are free to come and go as they please. Unlike a zoo, none of the animals are held in captivity. For that reason, there are times that we have no sea lions in the cave. It is our policy to inform all visitors, before they purchase a ticket, if we have no sea lions in the cave. We offer those guests that do purchase a ticket, a discounted price, as well as a free return voucher that is valid for one full year. Many, many of our guest do use this discount and the free return voucher. Most guests that do purchase a ticket tell us that seeing the cave even when the sea lions are out is well worth the admission price. Sea Lion Caves. We're nothing short of wild!
Written November 13, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

DanWee
Singapore, Singapore443 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Family
Tucked away many floors down a lift shaft is this dark and wild cave which is full of sea lions. It was nice and chilly throughout the visit in december and the sea breeze blew right through the caves, adding extra ventilation to that space. The waves crashing in we relentless and huge, tossing the inhabitants effortlessly. The sea lions were extremely agile and played in the waves with seemingly no regard for their safety.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MissMem
Memphis, TN1,108 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
We enjoyed our visit. The staff was very efficient handling visitors in the elevators and enclosed areas due to Covid. There were plenty of seals to view both in the cave area and outdoors. This is an older attraction and is very well maintained. It's worth the visit not just for the seals, but many birds are around and the costal view is excellent.
Written August 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jbthomsen
Seattle, WA261 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Family
The line was annoying at 4 o’clock in the afternoon so we came back the next morning. At 10:30am we were 5th in line and waited only 10-15min to get tickets. From there you walk down stairs to a walkway and then take an elevator down to the cave. The history of the cave is very interesting. Our 14 and 8yo liked both the info and the sea lions. There’s another outlook from the ticket house we’re we got to see a lot of sea lions too. The day started foggy but burnt off quickly so we were able to have great views by 11/11:30.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cynthia K
Westville, IN4,080 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
I talked him into this. I thought it would be fun. It was! $14 per adult. Open 9-5pm.
Signage is good on Hwy 101. Parking is good, but you have to cross the Hwy to get to the building. They do have RV parking as well.

The gift shop is free. You pay in the gift shop & do a self tour. The path is paved, but there are stairs. The elevator is small.
I really enjoyed looking at the sea lions! The viewing area has a metal fence in place to prevent any human interaction. It does smell. The seals & sea lions are completely free to come & go as they want. There were a lot there on the day we went. The cave itself is wonderful!
There's some scenic views of the coast & Heceta Head Lighthouse. If you walk further past the main building there's a viewpoint where you can see the seals outside by the ocean. These were the only wild seals we saw in Oregon.
As far as tourist traps go - this one was excellent!
Written August 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting Sea Lion Caves. So happy you enjoyed your time spent with us Cynthia. Appreciate reading your comments and love the five-star rating. Thank you. Sea Lion Caves. We're nothing short of wild!
Written August 31, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

mehoe2000
Meridian, ID134 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
When we are traveling we have to be in the right mood to stop at touristy spots like the Sea Lion Caves, but when we do they can be interesting and fun. This was true for the Sea Lion Caves on the coast between Florence and Yachats. For $16 per person you can wander around the observation platforms for views on the sea lion colonies and then ride the elevator 208 feet down into the cave. In the caves you can view the sea lions, the sea birds and even observe the Heceta Head Lighthouse from a distance. There is a lot of historical information. The staff is friendly but they make sure you follow the rules.
The building is right on highway 101. There is limited parking and it can be challenging getting parked and into the building with cars and semi-trucks passing through the narrow area. Still, the stop is worth it and we had a good visit.
Written September 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jdnikki
Bainbridge Island, WA25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
This was a great time! Yes, there was a line due to covid-19 but it moved quickly and the sea lions frolicking in the water were entertaining while we waited. I had last been to the cave as a child in 1987 and have always wanted to bring my daughters and husband to experience the cave. Everyone had a great visit and we all enjoyed watching the animals interact with each other.
Written July 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting Sea Lion Caves. We love hearing what our customers think about their experience. We are so happy you enjoyed your time with us. Thank you for the five-star review. Sea Lion Caves. We're nothing short of wild!
Written August 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

peacefulperfection
Utah382 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Solo
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 pretty cool and there was absolutely no smell down there at all. You can see the sea lions off to your left on a rock as you head down the ramp, so if that is all you want to see you don’t need to buy a ticket. If you need to see sea lions then Head to Newport —there are dozens off the boardwalk behind the Clearwater restaurant. And there are also hundreds frolicking in the ocean between nine and noon below the Yaquina Head lighthouse.
Written October 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Sea Lion Caves - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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