Best Spots To Explore Sea Life in Southern California

Southern California is known for its diverse marine life, beautiful beaches and stunning scenery. Situated along the Pacific Ocean, the Southern California region has some of the most iconic sea creatures in the world. If you want to learn more about the state’s sea life, there are many different spots you can visit to get a closer look. Here are the top spots to explore sea life in Southern California.

Black sea lion:Photo by Sand Crain on Unsplash

Pacific Marine Mammal Center- Laguna Beach

Your first stop should be Laguna Beach’s Pacific Marine Mammal Center. This marine mammal spot is about 45 minutes south of Los Angeles. The center focuses on rehabilitating sea lions and seals that are injured or stranded on local beaches and waterways. Visitors can tour the facility and see seals and sea lions that are currently part of the center’s rehab program. The center also prioritizes releasing animals back into the wild once they are strong enough to thrive. 

La Jolla Shores

Next, go south to the San Diego area to visit La Jolla. Book a private sunset cruise San Diego and get a first-hand look at what this part of the Pacific offers. La Jolla’s waters feature lots of unforgettable sea creatures, such as gray whales, dolphins, pelicans and leopard sharks. You may even get to see California’s official state fish, the garibaldi fish. This bright orange fish stands out among the rest of the underwater wildlife.

Pelican, La Jolla, San Diego:Photo by Y S on Unsplash

Channel Islands

After La Jolla, consider reserving a private whale watching tour and sailing to California’s Channel Islands. This archipelago sits a few miles away from the legendary Catalina Island. Day cruisers and kayaks can enjoy the vibrant sea life that lives in the waters surrounding the islands. It’s common to see pods of dolphins playing in the water around the islands or even whales. Visitors can also book a snorkeling tour to get a closer glimpse of the island chain’s sea creatures.

Newport Beach

When you get back to the main shore, set your sights on Newport Beach. This beach is located between Los Angeles and San Diego. It is home to several different parks, such as Huntington Beach, Crystal Cove State Park and Balboa Island. Day trippers can go on a private ecological wildlife tour to spot elephant seals, porpoises, sea otters and whales.

sea otter in California:Photo by Sand Crain on Unsplash

Cabrillo Tide Pools

Finally, don’t forget to schedule a stop at one of the best tide pools San Diego, Cabrillo Tide Pools. The tide pools are located on the tip of Point Loma in San Diego. The rocky beach features stunning displays of tidal sea creatures throughout the day. You’ll see tiny crabs, small fish, sea anemones, snails, limpets, barnacles and algae. If you’re lucky, you may even spot the Pacific octopus. 

California has a rich history of plentiful sea creatures that are fun and mesmerizing to watch. Visitors to this area can take advantage of the wildlife tours by choosing a private cruise, kayak tour or snorkel excursion. During the tour, sightseers can see lots of unique creatures and have an unforgettable experience in Southern California.