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Sea Lion Caves
Published: 06/05/2011
 

For over 130 years, the Sea Lion Caves, 11 miles north of Florence have attracted visitors to see Steller Sea Lions in their natural habitat. This world's largest natural sea cave is ideal for protection from foul weather, and the rocky ledges outside provide areas for the sea lions and various migratory sea birds to breed and bask in the sun. Visitors can see all this outside from a platform overlooking the rocks or by walking down a paved path to an elevator that takes you down 208 feet to an observatory cavern. From this area, you can see below to the main grotto that covers about two acres. Hundreds of sea lions cavort here or lie about, snorting and bellowing at each other and, yes, they do smell. Watch for new pups in late spring and early summer as well as migratory sea birds that nest in the caves. Get up close with your binoculars or use the pay-per-view telescopes. Just north of the caves is an outstanding view of the picturesque lighthouse at Heceta Head. There is free parking across the highway from the entrance to the caves. Admission is $12, $11 for seniors and $8 for children ages 3-12. Tickets are sold from 9am to 5pm daily. - By Stella Bennett

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