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“Baby seals a treat”

Ranked #2 of 19 things to do in Carpinteria
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Baby seals a treat”
Reviewed 10 March 2014

Loved visiting the rookery. It is a long 20 minute walk from the parking lot so don't go if walking is an issue. There were volunteers there to tell you the up to the minute count of adult seals and baby seals. He loaned me binoculars which were helpful - take yours if you have them, especially if you have vision issues. We learned about the different color seals and how to identify the newest babies - what fun

Visited March 2014
Thank Rho W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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79 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Ventura, CA
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

I've been to Carpinteria many times, especially as a child visiting my Aunt and Uncle who lived there. And during all of those visits I never visited the Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery. It took friends who had just moved to Carpinteria to introduce me to "the Bluffs". A short hike through Eucalyptus trees and train tracks lead us to the Bluffs where we stood and watched the pregnant seals lounging on the sand below. Docents kept watch over the soon to be mothers and mothers with newborn pups, counting the pups as they arrive and answering inquisitive viewer's questions. A docent told us that a pup was born 15 minutes prior to our arrival. She also lent us a pair of binoculars which I highly recommend bringing with you. The pup season is approximately from February into March. A great outing for families although the docents do ask for quiet.

Visited February 2014
Thank jogrow7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Del Mar, California
Level 6 Contributor
490 reviews
268 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 296 helpful votes
“Go in Jan/Feb during peak season”
Reviewed 22 January 2014

This is a great little unknown place to see live nature in all its glory. The harbor seals come to this beach to give birth and this part of the beach is closed from Dec-May. Jan-Feb is the height of the birthing season and you can stand on the bluffs for hours just watching the seals and the birds. There are volunteers there too to answer you questions of you want to learn more.

You can get to it from the Ballard Exit off the 101 and follow the bluffs north or you can also walk north from the Carpinteria State Beach and Campground. Either way you walk along the peaceful bluffs.

If you are a nature person you can easily spend hours just walking around and looking at the wildlife - don't forget to take your camera!

These are Harbor Seals - not Sea Lions like in SF on pier 59; not Elephant Seals that you see in San Simeon by Heart Castle; not sea lions you can see in Monterrey, CA or La Jolla, CA (also a harbor seal rookery there too)

Visited January 2014
1 Thank Travelin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“See the Seals”
Reviewed 2 October 2013

First, check to make sure about the birthing season so you won't be disappointed. The walk is pretty and enjoyable, especially when crossing the train tracks. Animals are not allowed, as they scare the seals, so if you do take your dog for the walk, you will not be allowed near the viewing point. Watching the action is beautiful and fun and talking with the people who are monitoring and safe guarding the site is always interesting. When we have out of town guests, we always take them to the preserve and they always thank us.

Visited December 2012
Thank CarlisleOxnard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Ramon, California
Level 6 Contributor
254 reviews
92 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“We love the seal rookery!”
Reviewed 23 September 2013 via mobile

We live locally in Carpinteria and the Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery is walking distance from our home. We walk there frequently. The seals are on the beach below in abundance during the months of December through May, where the mommy seals are giving birth and reari their young. It's fun to see the seals on the beach and swimming in the water during the months I mentioned above.

I'll add pictures of the seals from an earlier visit since we didn't see recently.

Visited September 2013
Thank LisaandRod93013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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