4 Best Spots to See Seals and Sea Lions in La Jolla

Not certain where the best viewing spots for seals and sea lions are in La Jolla? Here are four places to try out on your next visit to San Diego.
Jessica VanHook
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Best Spots to See Seals & Sea Lions in La Jolla
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An Overview of the Best Spots to See Seals and Sea Lions in La Jolla

Sea Lions Sunning Themselves at the Childrens PoolSea Lion Sunning Itself at the La Jolla Cove

La Jolla, a jewel along the California coast, offers unparalleled opportunities to observe seals and sea lions in their natural habitat.

From the serene environment of the Children's Pool to the adventurous La Jolla Sea Caves, each location provides a unique vantage point to witness these marine animals. While seals are often seen lounging on the sand with their shorter flippers tucked beneath them, sea lions are more social, barking loudly and using their larger flippers to navigate the rocky shores.

This guide will help you discover the top spots in La Jolla to experience the wonder of these marine creatures up close, whether you're seeking a family-friendly outing or an adventurous exploration!

Seal Lion Barking at Its Pub at the La Jolla Cove
Seal Lion Barking at Its Pub at the La Jolla Cove

Local Tips
Respect the Animals
It's important to observe these animals from a respectful distance to avoid disturbing them or violating any wildlife protection laws.

Our Top 4 Viewing Spots for Seals and Sea Lions in La Jolla

With seals and sea lions in abundance all throughout La Jolla, it can be hard deciding where the best viewing spots are to see them.

Would a more family friendly place like the La Jolla Children’s Pool be your best option? Or would kayaking in the La Jolla Sea Caves be more your style?

We’re here to help you decide with a list of the four best spots to see seals and sea lions in La Jolla.

The Children's Pool
Sea Lions on the Beach at the Childrens Pool

1) La Jolla Children’s Pool

Neighborhood:
La Jolla

Designed in the 1930s, the La Jolla Children's Pool was created as a safe space for families to take their children to enjoy the ocean.

Through the use of a long, curved barrier, this popular seal and sea lion spot keeps itself shielded from strong waves and currents, making it an ideal spot for the seals and sea lions to lounge about and give birth to their pups.

During pupping season (December 15 to May 15), the La Jolla Children's Pool is closed to the public to avoid any danger to both humans and the seals and sea lions.

Shell Beach & Boomer Beach
Looking at Boomer Beach to the North

2) Boomer Beach/Point La Jolla

Neighborhood:
La Jolla

Considered one of the smallest but more “secret” beach areas in La Jolla, Boomer Beach and Point La Jolla are popular visitor spots for bodysurfers and, in this case, watching the seals and sea lions.

While you can’t get up close and personal with the seals and sea lions anymore along the 150-foot stretch of Point La Jolla to Boomer Beach due to concerns for the health and safety of beachgoers and seals and sea lions alike, you can still view them from behind the safety of a barrier.

La Jolla Cove
Beautiful June Day at La Jolla Cove

3) La Jolla Cove

Neighborhood:
La Jolla

One of the most popular beaches in La Jolla, La Jolla Cove is home to a diverse range of sea life including seals and sea lions!

While Boomer Beach to Point La Jolla is permanently closed to visitors except those looking to swim in the ocean, La Jolla Cove, a nearby location, is another great place to see the seals and sea lions firsthand. They can often be found lounging in the sand or on nearby rocks.

But because the beach is surrounded by a deep cliff, you are likely to experience very up close and personal encounters with these creatures. So keep that in mind if you’re a bit uneasy about seeing them in such an intimate space.

La Jolla Caves Beach
La Jolla Cave Looking to Ocean

4) La Jolla Sea Caves

Neighborhood:
La Jolla

Formed from 75-million-year-old sandstone, there are seven different sea caves you can visit in La Jolla.

One particularly fun feature of these caves is the ability to get up close with - and even swim - with the local seals, sea lions, pelicans, and other wildlife that frequent the area.

You can stroll through the caves on foot or can even kayak and paddleboard in the water alongside these amazing creatures through one of several Sea Cave Kayaking Tours, making it a unique and adventurous outing for you and other visitors.

Whether up close or further away, La Jolla is home to many great places to view the numerous seals and sea lions of San Diego. And if you’re planning a longer visit, consider staying at one of the many popular nearby hotels, such as Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

Kayak Ride with Go Pass!
La Jolla - 90-Minute Kayak Rental
La Jolla 90-Minute Kayak Rental
When visiting La Jolla, use your Go Pass and hop on a tandem kayak ride! This 90-minute ride from La Jolla Beach takes you on an adventure to see all the area has to offer. Check out the famous seven caves and sea lions while enjoying the SoCal sun!
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Local Tips
What activities does the Go City San Diego pass include?

There’s a variety of activities included with the Go City San Diego pass such as: The San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, Hiking Tours, Whale Watching, Museum Tours, Speed Boat Adventures & more!

For the most popular attractions and water-sport rentals as well as the biggest discounts, consider the All-Inclusive Pass.

Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

Featured Hotel
La Valencia Hotel
La Valencia Hotel
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With a perfect location in the heart of La Jolla, a glamorous and elegant setting, and oceanfront views, you’ll be enchanted by the Pink Lady of La Jolla.
Prices Starting at $325
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Tours & Adventures
Guided La Jolla Sea Cave Kayak Tour
Guided La Jolla Sea Cave Kayak Tour
$144 per 2 people
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Half Day Whale Watching Tour
Half Day Whale Watching Tour
$80 per person
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