We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Has Great Views”
Review of Sea Lion Caves

Sea Lion Caves
Ranked #7 of 21 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 27 October 2018 via mobile

This place is good for the views both above and underground. If the sea lions are in the cave it can be crowded with people. If the sea lions are out to sea the gift shop will offer you a discounted ticket to still explore and see the cave which I appreciate. Honestly I've never felt the sea lions are that extraordinary to see here. You can enjoy much better interaction for free at Newport's bayfront.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Hazel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (1,447)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"gift shop"
in 168 reviews
"elevator ride"
in 52 reviews
in 41 reviews
"viewing area"
in 67 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 34 reviews
"observation deck"
in 17 reviews
"sea lion cave"
in 50 reviews
"the cliff"
in 47 reviews
"oregon coast"
in 102 reviews
"bring binoculars"
in 19 reviews
"fun stop"
in 17 reviews
"nice stop"
in 17 reviews
"unique experience"
in 17 reviews
"heceta head lighthouse"
in 44 reviews
"parking lot"
in 29 reviews
"light house"
in 17 reviews
in 206 reviews

10 - 14 of 1,447 reviews

Reviewed 14 October 2018

I could stand a watch these guys all day! Parking is limited here unless you want to cross the scary highway - also it was very windy that day - definitely head down into the caves! Spent about 1-1/2 hours here. We watched two bulls duking it out over a spot.

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank Ingrid H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2018 via mobile

If the sea lions are out to sea, do not waste your time and money. Very disappointing. No staff on duty to engage with guests or answer questions anout cave. Gift shop sells items under false pretense. I have $50 worth of glass with claims of “glow in the dark” and they do not even slightly glow. Although I contacted the gift shop, there has been no offer to rectify my purchase. Total waste of my travel money and vacation time.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank KarlaJoW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2018 via mobile

If you want to see sea lions, this is your place. Be warned, the smell is not good, really not good.

Date of experience: November 2017
1  Thank 672petej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 12 October 2018

We visited in October which is not the time of the year that the sea lions are in the cave. I want to note that the personnel at Sea Lion Caves made that abundantly clear, which is why I am flabbergasted that anyone would be so upset about not seeing sea lions in the cave. They let you know upon arrival. They offer a discounted ticket price in the offseason. Then, as a consumer, you have the power to either decide sure, I will view the cave at a discounted rate, and most likely not see a sea lion, or no, I will save my money and drive to Newport instead. It's ridiculous to be informed, make a decision, then be angry at someone else because you made the wrong decision.

That said, we got our discounted tickets and took the very updated elevator down into the cave. We viewed the empty cave, the exhibits, and took in the ocean views from the deck. We didn't see any sea lions. Oh well.

I did not feel ripped off. We were driving on 101. It's right there. It's a touristy road stop. They aren't pretending to be something other than that.

Date of experience: October 2018
2  Thank c00perjam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Sea Lion Caves also viewed

Florence, Oregon Coast

Been to Sea Lion Caves? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing