The Friends of the Elephant Seal (FES)is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about elephant seals and other marine life and to teaching stewardship for the ocean off this special place, the central coast of California. FES is a cooperating association with California State Parks.
We’re located in San Simeon, 7.8 miles south of the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Viewing Area on Highway 1. The Gift Shop is a one-stop shop for elephant seal and marine-life souvenirs and educational materials. Proceeds from the sale of our merchandise support our programs providing education about and preservation of the Northern Elephant Seals and their environment.
The Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop is open daily from 10 AM to 2 PM for indoor shopping, phone calls and local pick up. You can shop online at any time. (elephantseal.org) and we will ship to you or you can pick up. Face masks are required at all times in this indoor location. We follow best practices for the retail sector for capacity limits, cleaning protocols and touchless service. Check here for COVID 19 updates.
Want to see the elephant seals? Here are turn by turn directions. The Elephant Seal Viewing Area is open to the public 365 days a year and there is no charge for visiting. Docents(in blue jackets) are onsite to answer visitor questions daily. Check the elephant seal annual cycle to learn what you are likely to see in any month of the year.
If you want to learn more about the elephant seals, check out our Virtual Field Trips (10 of them!) on the Friends of the Elephant Seal YouTube Channel. Or, you can check on the elephant seals and watch our live beach cam anytime!
Hope you have a wonderful visit!
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