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“No Sea Lions”
Review of Sea Lion Caves

Sea Lion Caves
Ranked #10 of 42 things to do in Florence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Considered the largest sea cave in the United States, this site is where Steller sea lions and their cubs take shelter each year. Sea Lion Caves is a privately owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary. The Caves has been in operation since 1932 preserving and protecting the wildlife under our care. We are open 363 days a year only closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving day. Our normal hours of operation are 9 am until dusk year round. We are not a zoo and the animals are free to come and go as they please. The sea lions can usually be found at either of four locations on the property; in the Cave, in the water, at the Lookout/rockery, and on other nearby rock ledges. HOWEVER, THE SEA LIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS IN THE CAVE OR MAY BE MIGRATING OUT OF AREA - THEY ARE WILD ANIMALS AND COME AND GO AS THE PLEASE. CALL AHEAD FOR INFORMATION. Self-guided are the rule, but guided tours are available.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 5 November 2017

Our tour group arrived to the new that all the sea lions were elsewhere. We were foolhardy enough to venture down to the caves as the receptionist said there was a seal there. False alarm.

Large gift shop but lack of sea lions meant that this was not an attraction. Best to phone before you go.

Thank Terry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William C, Guest Relations Manager at Sea Lion Caves, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2017

Thank you for visiting Sea Lion Caves.

Because we are an all-natural wildlife preserve and marine sanctuary the animals come and go as they please. None of the animals are held in captivity. So, there may be occasions that we have no sea lions in the cave. It remains our policy to inform all visitors before they purchase a ticket, if there are no sea lions in the cave. We also offer those visitors a discounted price as well as a free return voucher that is valid for one full year.

Many of our visitors tell us that seeing America’s largest naturally formed sea cave is worth the price of admission alone. The cave is about 12 stories high and is the length of a football field. Sea Lion Caves is the largest sea grotto in America - comparable both in size and coloration to the famed Blue Grotto of Capri in the Mediterranean.

In addition, we have some of the most spectacular ocean vistas on the entire west coast.

Thousands of our visitors tell us each year that we are indeed a very worthwhile attraction.

Sea Lion Caves. We’re nothing short of wild.

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"gift shop"
in 151 reviews
"elevator ride"
in 50 reviews
"viewing area"
in 65 reviews
"fudge"
in 32 reviews
"sea lion cave"
in 47 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 27 reviews
"the cliff"
in 47 reviews
"oregon coast"
in 93 reviews
"fun stop"
in 14 reviews
"bring binoculars"
in 16 reviews
"unique experience"
in 16 reviews
"nice stop"
in 15 reviews
"heceta head lighthouse"
in 41 reviews
"light house"
in 17 reviews
"smell"
in 189 reviews
"hundreds"
in 61 reviews
"stinky"
in 57 reviews
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83 - 87 of 1,364 reviews

Reviewed 27 October 2017 via mobile

Unfortunately, the seals and sea lions were all out feeding at the time we visited. That was obviously not anyone’s fault..it is just nature being nature. They let us know up front that they were not in the cave and they gave us a 1 yr “rain check” to come back when the seals are in the cave. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. We chose to go down in the cave since we were there. I’m not sure that the cost of $12 per person was worth it. Nice location to photograph the Heceta Lighthouse. All in all it was worth the stop.

1  Thank gwens969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2017 via mobile

Great place even, knowledgeable and friendly staff, great homemade fugue, even though we came at a time when the sea lions are not typically there, it was still fun to visit the caves and we actually did get to see 2 sea lions!

Thank Tara D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2017

When we arrived in the morning it was foggy so thought we would come back in the afternoon (hopefully when the fog had cleared) but were advised by friendly informative ticket staff that there were no sea lions in the cave because of this there was a $ 2 discount on the price. We then went onto Newport where we could see sea lions for free from the pier so did not bother to go to the caves on our return

Thank Joel43_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William C, Guest Relations Manager at Sea Lion Caves, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2017

Thank you for stopping at Sea Lion Caves. We are sorry that you didn’t get to enjoy the experience for yourself.

As you mentioned, it is our policy to inform all visitors before purchasing a ticket, if we have no sea lions in the cave. Because all of the animals at Sea Lion Caves are free to come and go as they please, there are times that we do not have sea lions in the cave. We do offer those guests that purchase a ticket, a discounted price, as well as a free return visit that is valid for one full year.

Seeing America’s largest naturally formed sea cave and the wild animals that choose to live here is unlike any other experience you’ll encounter on the Oregon Coast. Every visitor has a unique experience. The animals, the weather and the tides are constantly changing inside the cave.

Sea Lion Caves. We’re nothing short of wild!

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Reviewed 24 October 2017

I have never seen a place like this in the states. An elevator takes you 180 feet down to a rather large cave. There is a couple of sea lion skeletons and numerous education posters and videos. On one side you look out into a cavern with the tide rushing in and out where the sea lions are suppose to gather. Early October is the wrong time of year to see the sea lions :(. And on the other side an amazing view! It was extremely interesting and informative. You enter a building, buy your tickets, walk down some stairs and then along a wide walkway along the edge of the cliff to the elevator. There is a large observation area with telescopes. We did see some otters (?) playing in the waves. It is a very well put together and thoughtout attraction. I would say a must visit - when the sea lions are in residence.

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

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