San Diego is rich with biological diversity, both on land and in the waters off the city’s coastline. Some might already come to mind, animals like blue and gray whales and dolphins. But green sea turtles, seals, and sea lions have their own place in the celebrity wildlife spotlight. Here’s the lowdown on the incredible San Diego wildlife you might be lucky enough to see when you’re here.
Green Sea Turtle
One of the best San Diego wildlife species is the Green Sea turtle.. San Diego wildlife Green sea turtles love the warm, shallow waters of the San Diego Bay. They like to hang out in the eelgrass, where they munch on seaweed. Green sea turtles migrate to nesting grounds off the coast of Mexico. La Jolla Ecological Reserve is a good place to see the turtles in late summer and early fall. You can snorkel or kayak out to get a better look.
One of the most amazing pacific ocean animals is the Blue Whale. During the summer, an estimated 2,000 blue whales feed off the coast of California during the “Great Blue Whale Migration” each summer. The blue whale is the largest mammal, and possibly the largest animal, to ever live on the earth. The longest blue whale ever clocked in at 108 feet long. Blue whales have been seen as close to two miles off of Ocean Beach!
Another one of the best San Diego wildlife species is the Gray Whale. The San Diego gray whale watching season lasts from December till April, coinciding with the gray whale’s 10,000-mile migration from Alaska to the lagoons of Baja California. More than 20,000 gray whales make the journey to give birth to their calves.
You can spot the whales from land by taking hikes. Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Cabrillo National Monument, and Torrey Pines State Reserve are popular spots to see them. There are tons of tour boats that can get you closer to the whales by water.
Seals and Sea Lions
Seals and sea lions are some of San Diego’s most prolific animals. You’ll find them lounging on beaches, docks, and buoys along the coast. They lounge in the sun to get warm before they slide back into the water to hunt.
One of the best places to view seals is at La Jolla Cove. Be aware that the Children’s Pool at the cover is closed from December 15 to May 15 to protect newly-born seal pups. You can also spot seals on an amphibious San Diego SEAL Tours.