Fodor's Expert Review Sea Lion Caves
In 1880 a sea captain rowed a small skiff into a fissure in a 300-foot-high sea cliff. Inside, he was startled to discover a 125-foot-high vaulted rock chamber inhabited by hundreds of massive sea lions—the largest bulls weighing 2,000 pounds or more. Now one of the coast's favorite, if quite touristy, attractions, the caves are reached by an elevator near the cliff-top ticket office and kitschy gift shop; viewing is from behind a wire fence. This is the only known hauling-out area and rookery for wild sea lions on the mainland in the Lower 48, and it's an awesome sight and sound when they're in the cave, typically only in fall and winter (in spring and summer the mammals usually stay on the rocky ledges outside the cave).