Watch Elephant Seals in San Simeon

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Enjoy watching the Elephant Seals on the beaches of San Simeon


Want to experience California nature like never before? This is an activity you don’t want to miss this time of year.


The Northern Elephant Seal is an extraordinary marine mammal. According to Friends of the Elephant Seal, “It spends eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1,000 to 5,000 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours, and migrating thousands of miles (twice a year) to its land based rookery for birthing, breeding, molting and rest.”


At this time of year: At the beginning of December, the large sub-adult and adult males arrive to land. Following them, come mid- to late-December, the first pregnant females arrive, and the first pup is born about a week before Christmas. A majority of the females continue to arrive in January and typically give birth a few days after arrival (most of the births occur at night).


“The Piedras Blancas rookery, on Highway 1 seven miles north of San Simeon on the California Central Coast, is home to about 17,000 animals,” Friends of the Elephant Seal said. The area is open for viewing every day of the year and there is no admission fee or reservation required.”


Please remember to keep a respectful distance and keep dogs away.


*Photo from


Friends of the Elephant Seal is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about elephant seals and other marine life and teaching stewardship for the ocean off the central coast of California.




Location: Beaches of San Simeon

Admission: Free on Site

For More Information: Visit




The Morgan

A boutique jewel nestled along California’s scenic Central Coast, The Morgan welcomes you with a warmth and personality all its own. As the favorite choice in Hearst Castle hotels, The Morgan at San Simeon is located only 4 miles from the Visitor Center. 9135 Hearst Drive, San Simeon, CA 93452. 805-927-3878.