First-time visitors to Morro Bay are often delighted to learn that it’s teeming with sea lions. These ugly-cute behemoths even enjoy a private dock where they catch some rays and get some sleep daily. Here’s what you need to know about the sea lions in Morro Bay, brought to you by the folks who know the area best, the friendly team from Ascot Suites, an ideally located, uniquely charming Morro Bay hotel.
Sea Lions: Large Marine Mammals
Some sea lions weigh over 850 pounds. They’re also fast and can torpedo to and fro at 25 miles per hour. Social, fun-loving, and intelligent, sea lions live in family-like pods, and every year, males try to build impressive nests to attract mates.
The Difference Between Sea Lions & Seals
People often confuse sea lions with seals, but there are three easy ways to tell them apart. First, look at the sides of their heads. Do they have ear flaps? If yes, the animal is a sea lion. Second, check out their front flippers. Are they large and foot-like or small and fin-like? If it’s the former, they’re sea lions. If it’s the latter, they’re seals. Third, notice how they get around. Seals scoot about on their bellies. Sea lions use their front flippers like legs to waddle around.
Where Are the Sea Lions in Morro Bay?
Sea lions and people have found a harmonious way to share Morro Bay. The recreational hotspot can be dangerous for the amphibious animals, and sleeping sea lions can endanger boaters boarding their crafts. To rectify the problem, Morro Bay installed a sea lion–only dock. The animals know where they can rest safely, and people respect the designated space. The city established the first dedicated sea lion dock in 2009, but after a while, it wore out, which isn’t surprising when 800-pound animals flop on and off a floating dock daily. To secure the bay’s symbiotic rhythms, an area conservation group raised money and built a new one in 2018.
The Best Time to Visit Morro Bay for Sea Lion Snapshots
Juvenile sea lions frolic in Morro Bay year-round, but the adults summer up north. In June and July, female sea lions who mated during the previous season give birth after 12 months of pregnancy. Soon after the pups slide into the world, the males return and build nests, and mating season resumes. When breeding activities cease, older individuals migrate north. The females usually head to Monterey, and the males sometimes travel further north to the state of Washington. Guests who come in June and July can get the best snapshots of sea lions. After all, that’s when the migratory marine mammals are in town for the mating season.
Morro Bay is the perfect spot for the whole family to enjoy stunning scenery and native California wildlife, so make your vacation plans and reserve your room or suite today at Ascot Suites, one of the most comfortable Morro Bay hotels available. Our English-style rooms welcome guests for any occasion, whether it’s a family vacation or a romantic getaway. Relax and enjoy the coastal breeze on our peaceful rooftop sundeck with stunning views of Morro Bay and Morro Rock, snuggle up in front of your fireplace, lounge the day away on your balcony, or enjoy a long soak in your deep jetted tub. To find out more about our exceptional accommodations and reserve your room, call us today at 800-887-6454.