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Ranked #2 of 21 things to do in Carpinteria
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed 19 March 2014

There were well over a hundred seals when I visited today! All shapes, sizes and colors, from small babies to some massive guys. It was mesmerizing just to watch them. I understand they're there from January to May but earlier is better for numbers and more babies. Biked there from Santa Barbara on the Pacific Coast Trail which is a nice trail (albeit very near 101 much of the time)...13 miles.

Thank ddosdall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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71 - 75 of 86 reviews

Reviewed 14 March 2014

Nice little hike on a trail and over train tracks to the Harbor Seal Preserve. You can view the seals basking on the beach and swimming in the ocean from above, up on the bluff. Very scenic area and a really nice little walk if you like seals and beautiful views!

Thank KaChHa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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

Thank Rho W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

Thank jogrow7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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)

1  Thank Travelin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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