Sacramento is located 2 hours from the Northern coast, and during the hot summer days this is a welcome relief. This location takes a bit longer (about 5-6 hours). The central and northern coastal beaches are beautiful, rugged and cool.
We drive north on Highway 1 from Cambria, and about 4-5 miles north of Hearst Castle and come to Piedras Blancas Rookery. This is a most amazing place.
The seals started coming to this beach in 1992 when one pup was born. In 2016 5300 were born. There are always some seals here, and we arrive at a time when the seals are molting. Shedding and growing a new skin layer. When at the rookery the animals fast, and they conserve their energy. No eating or drinking at the Rookery.
Male elephant seals develop their distinctive nose (Proboscis) after they mature at 5 years. The nose is part of their status during the breeding season.
One of the best parts of this experience is that there is no fee. Plenty of parking, easy access, wheelchair accessible, knowledgeable guides, no reservations, and the ability to safely watch these magnificent animals. WOW!!!
For more information follow my links provided above. You can even watch the elephant seals be web cam.