You are going to find several beaches with seals in California. Beaches in California have already been very popular as the best place to see marine life in the United States.
The state of California has several types of seals on its beaches. San Diego and Los Angeles are the most popular for seeing seals in California.
You can see seals all year round on California beaches, so bring your family to see seals any time of the year.
In this article, I’m going to give you a list of beaches with seals in California and where you need to go to see seals in California.
You are also going to find what is the best time to see seals in California and what types of seals are in California here.
So, let’s dive right in.
Beach With Seals In California
La Jolla Cove Beach, Boomer Beach, Children’s Pool Beach, Drakes Beach, and Shell Beach are the best beaches to see seals in California.
The list of beaches with seals in California:
- La Jolla Cove Beach
- Drakes Beach
- Children’s Pool Beach
- Point Piedras Blancas Beach
- Boomer Beach
- Arroyo Del Corral Beach
- Shell Beach
- Cove Beach
1. La Jolla Cove Beach
La Jolla Cove is the best beach with seals in California. La Jolla Cove is the most popular beach in the La Jolla neighborhood in San Diego, California.
The area of La Jolla Cove beach is significantly smaller than other popular beaches in California.
La Jolla Cove beach is also a great palace to see both marine life and wildlife.
There are always excellent chances to see seals on La Jolla Cove beach. You can hear seals barking, and you can also get very close to seals and sea lions.
I have seen baby seals and sea lions on La Jolla Cove beach several times. Seals-watching experiences are outstanding compared to other spots to see seals in California.
La Jolla Cove Beach is surrounded by a variety of restaurants, bars, and other social spots.
Over the years, the City of San Diego Government renovated the whole La Jolla Cove area to make this place more attractive to visitors and also bring more developments.
After watching the seals, you can also do snorkeling, diving, swimming, kayaking, and other water activities in La Jolla Cove Beach’s several areas.
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) and Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography both Musume are both located in the La Jolla Cove area, so don’t forget to visit that when you are around La Jolla Cove beach.
Tips To See Seals In La Jolla Cove Beach:
- The best time to see seals in La Jolla Cave beach is from the last week of April to the first week of June.
- Tossing any type of food to seals is completely prohibited at La Jolla Cove beach.
- To see the live birth of seals, February and March are the best months.
- Take your camera, especially if you are passionate about photography, because you might take some incredible shots that no one has seen before.
- Keeping a respectful distance from the seals and sea lions on La Jolla Cave beach is highly recommended.
- La Jolla Cave beach is pet friendly, so you are allowed to bring your well-behaved dog.
Address: La Jolla Cove Beach, San Diego, California, United States.
2. Drakes Beach
Drakes Beach is the best place to see seals in the bay area. Drakes Beach is located in Point Reyes National Seashore.
Drakes Beach is also known as Point Reyes National Seashore or Point Reyes State Marine Reserve.
Among all the different types of Pinnipeds, you are going to see elephant seals, and sea seals are common in Drakes Beach.
The special thing about seeing seals in Drakes Beach is you can see seals every day all around the year.
In both winter and summer seasons, seals stay on the seashore. From December through March, seals are birthing in Drakes Beach.
From Elephant Seal Overlook point, you can see seals at Drakes Beach. And I highly recommend you to go to Elephant Seal Overlook point because from here you can get the perfect view of the mountain.
Seeing seals at Drakes beach, you must maintain 25 feet of distance from seals. The southern edge of Darken beach is the best side to see seals on this beach.
From Drakes beach parking lot, you can also see seals, but Drakes beach parking lot stays open annually.
From December 15 to March 31, Drakes beach’s parking area stays temporarily closed.
Tips To See Seals In Drakes Beach:
- You must keep at least 25 feet or 8 meters of distance from the seals.
- In Drakes beach, not all areas allow pets, so you can only bring your pet where they are allowed. I personally suggest you do not bring your pet because almost all areas in Drakes beach are pet prohibited.
- Seal seeing area stays closed from December 15 to March 31 in Drakes beach.
- As you know, seals bite or injure people, that’s why you should keep maximum distance from them.
- Feeding seals are completely illegal, so don’t throw food at seals.
- Keep your movement quiet, especially if you go with a large group to see seals on Drakes beach.
- Do not whisper and make any abrupt sounds while watching seals; it can be harmful to them.
- Bring binoculars or telephoto lenses to observe seal movements.
- I also recommend you to spend some time also in Point Reyes National Seashore because Point Reyes National Seashore is a very quiet and beautiful place.
Address: Drakes Beach, Inverness, California, United States.
3. Children’s Pool Beach
Children’s Pool Beach is a small white sandy beach area located at the end of Jenner Street, San Jose, California.
Children’s Pool beach is situated in California’s famous neighborhood La Jolla.
In the city of San Jose, Children’s Pool beach has been a popular attraction or tourist destination since 1932.
Children’s Pool Beach was originally designated for children to swim. By building a seawall, engineers protect this area from sea waves to make it suitable for children to swim.
But, sea lions and harbor seals occupied this area because this area also became ideal for them.
Children’s Pool is the best beach with seals in California, and I personally love this beach because of the seawall where you can walk.
You can see seals closely at Children’s Pool beach, so you don’t need any binoculars.
Children’s Pool beach also remains close to public access yearly for harbor seal pupping season.
At Children’s Pool beach, you will find a public restroom and showers. Surfing, Scuba diving, and swimming are allowed on this beach.
Tips To See Seals In Children’s Pool Beach:
- Walk on the seawall because you can see seals closely and properly.
- Swimming is allowed on Children’s Pool beach, but it’s not safe because the water is not suitable for human skin and body.
- Do not throw any food at seals because it’s completely prohibited.
- Seals watching at Children’s Pool beach is closed from December 15 to May 15 every year.
- If you bring your children on the seawall, then keep them close to you because the wall fences are very wide.
- Carry a handbag to keep your phone and other essential accessories safe, especially when you are on the seawall.
- The seals-watching experience at Children’s Pool beach is best in the morning.
- Children’s Pool beach stays so crowded on the weekend.
- I highly recommend you bring your camera because from a short distance; you can capture the best picture of seals.
4. Point Piedras Blancas Beach
Point Piedras Blancas is the best beach to see elephant seals in California.
Over seven thousand elephant seals are living in this area. Point Piedras Blancas beach always stays busy with visitors.
This beach is also a great area for recharging elephant seals because almost all types of elephant seals exist on this beach.
The best time to see seals in Point Piedras Blancas beach is from December through March.
During this time of the year, you should visit Point Piedras Blancas beach to see seal activity and various changes.
Between December and January, pregnant female seals start a birthing activity which expands the number of seals existing on Point Piedras Blancas beach.
I always recommend you to visit Point Piedras Blancas beach in January because you can see live fights of seals to establish their territories.
The distance of watching seals in Point Piedras Blancas beach is huge; that’s watching seals activities going to tough with your naked eye.
At Point Piedras Blancas beach, you will find a huge parking area where you can park your car, truck, and RV.
Compared to other beaches with seals in California, Point Piedras Blancas beach has more seals.
Tips To See Seals In Point Piedras Blancas Beach:
- Flying drones are prohibited at Point Piedras Blancas beach, so don’t bring your drones.
- Visit Point Piedras Blancas beach to see seals between December to March.
- Don’t forget to bring your binoculars or telescope to see seals on Point Piedras Blancas beach.
- Just like other seals watching spots and feeding seals or birds are illegal on Point Piedras Blancas beach.
- Keep you and your kids at a safe distance from the elephant seals.
- Explore near different seals watching viewpoints to see seal’s activities.
- Avoid throwing any packages or practice bags in the beach area.
5. Boomer Beach
Boomer Beach is a hidden beach in La Jolla, San Diego. Boomer Beach is also the smallest beach in the La Jolla Cave area.
For people who like quiet beaches with all the beach amenities, Boomer Beach can be the best place for them.
Watching seals in Boomer Beach is also very exciting because you can go very close to seals. But, you must remember that seals can attack humans.
Sea lions and seals love to stay in Boomer Beach because this beach is quite clean and way more crowded than other beaches in La Jolla.
You are also going to see people Bodysurfing in the sea. Strong waves make Bommer Beach an ideal place for bodysurfing.
With watching seals, Boomer Beach can also be a better place for group camping.
Dogs are allowed in Boomer Beach, but keeping your dogs on a leash is going to be the best idea.
Boomer Beach also offers a free parking facility so you can enjoy watching seals without worrying about car parking.
Tips To See Seals In Boomer Beach:
- You can see seals and sea lions from a very close distance.
- Boomer Beach is also a great place for kids, but keep your children a decent distance from seals.
- Visit Boomer Beach in May month to see seals and sea lions.
- You will find seals all over the massive rocks in Boomer Beach.
- Dogs are allowed on this beach.
- Feeding or throwing food at seals and sea lions is completely prohibited.
- Bike parking is also available on Boomer Beach.
6. Arroyo Del Corral Beach
Arroyo Del Corral Beach is another great place to see Elephant seals in the state of California.
Arroyo Del Corral Beach is located in the village of San Simeon, California near the Piedras Blancas Light Station.
This beach is not really a busy beach, but around Arroyo Del Corral Beach, you find various other famous California attractions.
In Arroyo Del Corral Beach, seeing seals are easily accessible and free for everybody.
Arroyo Del Corral Beach is also a less crowded beach compared to other beaches in California.
Arroyo Del Corral Beach stays open every day of the year. On weekends visitors are often spotted on the beach.
December through March is the best time to see seals or elephant seals in Arroyo Del Corral Beach.
Tips To See Seals In Arroyo Del Corral Beach:
- Bring your binoculars or telescope to watch seals properly in Arroyo Del Corral Beach.
- On weekdays, Arroyo Del Corral Beach stays totally crowded free, so you can enjoy seeing seals.
- Avoid getting too close to seals.
- Dogs are not allowed in Arroyo Del Corral Beach.
- I also suggest you enjoy the beach view from the picnic table.
- If you love to do Beachcombing, then Arroyo Del Corral Beach can be more enjoyable for you.
7. Shell Beach
Shell Beach is the most attractive and beautiful neighborhood in the city of Pismo Beach, California.
In Shell Beach, seals are available, but the accessibility of seals is a little hard on this beach.
Shell Beach is often so crowded, especially in the summer season.
The amount of seals living in Shell Beach is limited; that’s why there is a decent chance that you might not see seals some days of the year.
Low tides make Shell Beach a great place for swimming and other sea life activities.
You can enjoy watching seals from various points on Shell Beach. So, try different spots to make your seals watching tour more special.
Tips To See Seals In Shell Beach:
- Explore more activities also by watching seals.
- The number of elephant seals is larger than other types of seals in Shell Beach.
- Finding Shell Beach’s location on the internet can be confusing, so ask locals if needed.
- Must bring your binoculars because the distance from seals is huge.
8. Cove Beach
Cove Beach is the best beach to see seals in Southern California. Cove Beach is located at the south end of Año Nuevo State Park.
Especially for seeing elephant seals, Cove Beach is popular all over the state of California.
Cove Beach is a public beach that is also known as New Years Creek Beach. This beach is open to everyone. From Año Nuevo State Park’s visiting center, Cove Beach is not so far.
In various seasons of the year, you can observe seals closely to learn about them in Cove Beach.
April 1 to August 31 is the molting season for elephant seals in Cove Beach.
But from December 1 to 14, Cove Beach stays closed for visitors. During this time, pregnant seals begin to arrive on the beach.
Elephant seals started breeding on December 15, and the breeding season continues until March 31.
Although amenities are limited in Cove Beach, seal watching gives you an astonishingly exciting feeling.
Tips To See Seals In Cove Beach:
- Cove Beach stays close for visitors from December 1 to 14, so avoid this time duration to see seals in Cove Beach.
- Cove Beach is not really a long beach; that’s why beach activities are also limited.
- I recommend you to go to Cove Beach to see seals in February and March because you can see more.
- Biking is prohibited in Cove Beach.
- Keep your children close to you because you will not find any lifeguards in Cove Beach.
- Drone use is also prohibited on this beach.
- Don’t forget to maintain a decent distance from seals.
Best Time To See Seals In California
November through May is the best time to see seals in California. But, some seals watching places and beaches with seals stay close for a couple of days in the month of December.
The best time to see seals is also in various seasons. Seal molting season often starts in April.
Seals Fall Haul-out starts in September and closes at the end of November.
And, from December to the end of March month, the breeding season for all types of pinnipeds in California.
So, considering several seal seasons, November to May month is the great and perfect time to see seals in the state of California.
What Type Of Seals Are In California
A variety of seals or pinnipeds is still available to see in California. Researchers are still searching for new types of seals in the state.
Five Types of Seals and Sea Lions are Available in California:
- Northern Fur Seal
- California Sea Lion
- Harbor Seal
- Northern Elephant Seal
- Guadalupe Fur Seal
Finding a beach with seals in California is not going to be hard, especially if you are living in California like me.
But, not all Southern California and Northern California’s beaches have seals, so you must be confirmed which beach has seals before you go.
La Jolla Cove Beach and Point Piedras Blancas Beach both are my favorite place to see seals in the state of California.
Over the years, beaches have become more popular places to see seals than aquarium museums or zoos.
All beaches have their own time schedule to see seals. So, follow the beach’s seal watching the time period duly.
Telephoto and binoculars are great gadgets to see seals closely. Therefore, you should bring them with you to see seals on the beach.
Vanessa Martin is the founder and content head of California Moments. Vanessa has been living in San Diego, California, since her childhood. Vanessa brings everything about the Golden States California and shares it with you through Californiamoments.com.