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California Sea Lions And Seals: 9 Spots To Check Out

2010-12-10-overhead_Trazzler.jpg   First Posted: 01/30/11 02:36 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET

By Megan Cytron

With a population of 238,000, there are enough California sea lions to populate a slippery city the size of Scottsdale, Arizona. California's beaches and islands are also home to Pacific harbor seals, elephant seals, and rarer fur seals. The California coast is dotted with places where you can get close to these creatures--but not too close, please--they may be cute and pierce your heart with their soulful eyes, but they are still wild animals. During breeding season, the antics and mating rituals of these pinnipeds are far more exciting (and graphic) than any homo-sapiens-based reality TV. Enjoy these 9 spots!

Like most of California, La Jolla's majestic view of the Pacific enchants any beach bum; but its biggest draw is not the shoreline but what lies languorously on it. On La Jolla's Children's Pool Beach, get up close and personal with the enviably languid harbor seals. Separated by a flimsy rope, the sight of seals so close tempts every onlooker. As they bask in the California sun their coats, ranging from golden to chocolate brown to silvery gray, shimmer; their spots glint playfully; and, as they make their way to and from the shore, their bulbous bodies roll pleasantly across the sand. After you tire of the sight, take hold of your loved one's hand and stroll down the walkway to absorb the majesty of the crashing waves against the craggy cliffs.

Writer: Carren | Photo: Carren
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A note about Trazzler's slideshows: we don't do top-tens or best-of lists. Nor are we so morbid or presumptuous as to tell you where you must go before you shuffle off this mortal coil. The world is far too big and fascinating to encapsulate in any kind of definitive list. We simply chose the places that our writers have contributed that make us think, laugh, dream, and plot our next escape. Trazzler is also committed to easy-to-plan, smart local travel. Each week, we work to find the best weekend travel deals near you. Visit to plot your next escape and let us know what you think.--Megan Cytron, Editor of Trazzler