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Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing

Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, California

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Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing

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  • Lounging California sea otters.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • A sea otter holding onto her napping kit.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • Adolescent sea otter.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • A kit stretching.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • Sea otters are very social and can often be found in groups, even when napping.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • A curious sea otter.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • An adolescent sea otter.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • A napping sea otter.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • Kits stay with their mothers until they are mature enough to be on their own.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • Sea otters are very social and can often be found in groups.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • Napping sea otter.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • Sea otters napping together.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • Sea lion mother and pup hanging out in the harbor.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • The venerable tugboat moored in the harbor.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • Morro Bay is a working fishing port.- Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
  • - Morro Bay Sea Otter Viewing
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easily accessible. Up-close viewing.
Cons: 
Access is difficult when fishing boats are docked.
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Region:
Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

The California sea otter (Enhydra lutris) has been on the endangered species list since 1977, but it is starting to make a fierce comeback. Populations from San Mateo all the way down to Santa Barbara County are on the rise after major conservation efforts.

Morro Bay is one of the best places to see this incredible animal up close and personal. The bay is located next to a system of estuaries, which helped to create a sand barrier around the inlet of the bay. This natural structure serves as a break, keeping the waters in the bay calm and protected. It is a perfect habitat for the sea otter, which spends much of its time floating on its back. Since sea otters do not have a blubber layer like other marine mammals, they have to rely on two layers of dense fur and the heat of the sun to stay warm. 

A particularly good spot to see the Morro Bay sea otters is within the area outlined by the T-dock located behind The Great American Fish Company. Park in the restaurant parking lot, which is available for public use and has ample parking, and walk out toward the water. Once on the boardwalk you can already see the otters hanging out in their favorite spot. For the best sea otter viewing, walk out onto the T-dock for an up close and unforgettable experience. Sea otters can be found here year round, but they are most enjoyable to watch when the sun is shining.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(16 within a 30 mile radius)

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