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“Not A Place For The Physically Challenged”
Review of Sea Lion Caves

Sea Lion Caves
Ranked #7 of 21 things to do in Florence
More attraction details
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
Reviewed May 7, 2013

For $14 you get to go down and see the cave and the observation deck when the Sea Lions are not in the cave. There is also a Lighthouse viewpoint but I didn't go up there. They tell you when you come in that it is a steep walk up and down the paths. This is after you go down approx. 37 stairs. If you rely on a wheelchair than this is definitely not the place for you. It is accessible after the stairs but I mean there is really no way to get your chair down the stairs. Don't think oh it doesn't look that bad I can manage. Just don't. Thats what I did and the staff had to come down with a wheelchair and take me back to the stairs. It was interesting and the staff were absolutely amazing but for the price and lack of accessibility it was not worth it.

Date of experience: May 2013
2  Thank KF1212_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 168 reviews
"elevator ride"
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1,109 - 1,113 of 1,448 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2013

Take the kids and go to this - you will not be disappointed. The people that run this place are so friendly and helpful. The cave is amazing and informative (a bit stinky - but what I expected) and such a gem.

Date of experience: August 2012
1  Thank HappyinEugene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We visited on a beautiful day in early May. We had a great view from the outside observation area of hundreds sea lions on the rocks and in the water below. We took the elevator down to the cave. The cave itself is pretty cool. Unfortunately, it's getting close to mating season so there were only 3 sea lions in the cave. This was all explained to us by a very knowledgeable woman working there who told us all about the place. I'd like to see it some time during the winter when the cave is full of sea lions. That would be something. But it was still very worth seeing.

Date of experience: May 2013
1  Thank BLAKAlaska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

If you want to see Sea Lions up close,.. go in town to any pier & they will be sunning themselves.
The attraction does offer you a view of an amazing cave to view & it is clean & well laid out but $14 to see the Cave,...well I have to admit I found that expensive!!! I know it cost to run the place but I could of passed on it. Would suggest that they have more interactive activities in the cave.

Date of experience: April 2013
Thank B_VWestCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 19, 2013

I definitely recommend visiting the cave earlier in the season. We went in early September and were warned that most of the Sea Lions had left. They only charged us $7 (1/2 price) to get in. There were six Sea Lions in the cave and it was worth seeing the cave itself. There were also a few stragglers on the rocks and in the water outside. The staff was polite & informative. There's a fun gift shop full of souvenirs, popcorn, & homemade fudge. Check the highway lookout just North of the cave. We've seen a lot of Sea Lions there in the past. Normally, I would rank this attraction as average because of the cost and short time it takes to visit, however, this is a great opportunity to see the less common Steller Sea Lion. Most of the others you'll see are California Sea Lions, which you can get a great look at on Newport's Bayfront.

Date of experience: September 2012
Thank BouvOnTheMove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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