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“Worth it to see once!”
Review of Sea Lion Caves

Sea Lion Caves
Ranked #5 of 42 things to do in Florence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Warren, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Worth it to see once!”
Reviewed September 1, 2011

The Sea Lion Caves scared me off at first as being too tourist-y and not worth the stop, however we couldn't resist when driving past it. It was pretty crowded, and as soon as we got into the gift shop we could see the webcam, which showed many Sea Lions on the rocks, despite some people saying that this wasn't the right time of year to view them.

We purchased our tickets, and the woman warned us that there was a bit of a walk and some steps - which was fine. There were wonderful views of the water and Heceta Head Lighthouse in the distance. We went down to the caves via elevator. Anyone who said they couldn't stand the smell has not spent much time on the coast! We didn't find it that bad, but maybe it was just our luck. The caves are dark, a 6 minute video plays on loop in a corner, the viewing area is a large window where you can see the sea lions on the rock. There are also more steps you can take to see the lighthouse if you'd wish.

Overall we were only there for 20-30 minutes, it was a nice stop and well worth it. I would just double check to make sure there ARE sea lions there before you pay!

Visited August 2011
Thank mmlc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Woodinville, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Well worth the visit”
Reviewed August 30, 2011

We were skeptical about this place - it looks kind of tacky touristy from the outside and I doubted there would even be any sea lions to see. However, we were pleasantly surprised! The cave has a long history and the operators do a good job of detailing the geology of the cave and providing info on the sea lions. And there were a lot of sea lions barking away on their rock, playing king of the hill. There are steps and walking, but thankfully an elevator that takes you down the 208ft.

Visited August 2011
Thank SMP59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Scotland
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Not quite as described”
Reviewed August 20, 2011

the day we went all the sealions were outside, so the external viewing platform afforded a good view. Going down to the cave was a waste of time as there was only one sealion to be seen and then only when he popped up from the water. The viewing area was tiny and has a large grille across it barring easy views.

Visited July 2011
Thank zathras777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Ask at the front desk where the sea lions are first before you pay”
Reviewed August 18, 2011

My father has been here several times in prior years, but when when went today, the sea lions were all outside on the rocks. When we went downstairs, there was literally one one the rock, and one in the water swimming around the rocks. You can get a nice picture of the Heceta Lighthouse up some steps after you're down in the cave, but if you're trying to be budget conscious, you might want to ask where the sea lions are first.

Visited August 2011
Thank PhotoMomma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna, Austria
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The best place to watch wild Sea lions”
Reviewed August 15, 2011

Just few miles from Florence along the beautiful Oregon coast. The parking is free but the ticket is a little expensive (adult 12$). Walk along the panoramic trails, better at the sunset, and then with the elevator go down on the cave to watch and ear the loud Sea Lions, pay also attention to the rocks covered by starfish! Absolutely worth to visit!
After this visit, advised to stop for a walking on the Cape Creek beack (few miles on the north direction).

Visited July 2011
1 Thank GorgoVetBart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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