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Harbor Seals at Children’s Pool Beach in La Jolla

A coastline walking tour of La Jolla isn’t complete without checking for harbor seals at Children’s Pool. The beach itself is closed during pupping season from Dec. 15th to May 15th but visitors can walk the seawall for a closer view – weather permitting.

Unlike Seal Lions, Harbor Seals:

  • Have ear holes but do not have outer ear flaps
  • Have small flippers and move on land using their bellies
  • Spend more time alone in the water than on land with other seals
  • Communicate using soft grunting sounds

Looking for more things to do in La Jolla? Grab our free Beyond the Zoo Guide to La Jolla.

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La Jolla Sea Lions


The area surrounding La Jolla Cove is a favorite hangout spot for sea lions!

Unlike Harbor Seals, Sea Lions:

  • Have small outer ear flaps
  • Have long flippers that allow them to walk on land
  • Spend a significant time with other sea lions out of the water
  • Communicate using loud barking sounds

It’s important to remember that sea lions are wild animals protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Enjoy while keeping a safe distance, especially around pups and protective mamas.