FaceBook Twitter Flickr Youtube Google+ Pintrest Blog Instagram
CURRENT WEATHER
FaceBook Twitter Flickr Youtube Google+ Pintrest Blog Instagram
Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley
Monterey Bay Sea Otter

Monterey Bay Sea Otter

Top 5 Places to Spot Sea Otters

If there is one furry animal that Monterey Bay is most known for it is the sea otter. The climate and rocky shores along Monterey County's coastline are ideal for these critters and the bountiful kelp forests are full of all of their favorite snacks. Here's our list of the top five places to spot Monterey County's favorite mascot.

Moss Landing

Moss Landing State Beach and the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing are almost always a sure bet to see these cuddly creatures. There is a protected cove in particular near the dunes on Moss Landing State Beach where you can often find groups of bachelor otters huddled together in "rafts." A raft is a group of single sex sea otters and they typically contain 2 to 100 of the furry little creatures! Otters in rafts often sleep side-by-side, wrapped up in strands of kelp, so that they don't drift far from each other.

The best place to encounter a sea otter in its natural habitat is out on the water! Rent a kayak or take an Elkhorn Slough Safari tour to observe these marvelous animals in action. You will most likely see more than one!

Fisherman's Wharf

Dine at one of the fabulous seafood restaurants along Old Fisherman's Wharf and you might just spot and otter or two swimming beneath you. Sea otters also find this area as a great place to socialize, play and feed on fresh seafood including clams, mussels, crab, squid and urchins.

Visitors can also catch a glass bottom boat or whale watching tour from the wharf for an ocean excursion where sea otter sightings are always a possibility.

Cannery Row

Take a walk along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail from Fisherman's Wharf to Cannery Row and keep your eyes open for sea otters twisting and turning near the shoreline, this is also a hot spot for lazy harbor seals.

Further down Cannery Row is A Taste of Monterey. This place offers incredible views of the Monterey Bay and most of the time you get to catch a glimpse of an otter in the ocean below; if not, the Monterey Bay Aquarium just down the street is a sure bet!  

Lovers Point Park and Beach

Just a mile down from the Monterey Bay Aquarium is Lovers Point Park in Pacific Grove. Not only is this a great place for a picnic but it's also a fun stop to check out some wildlife. The protected cove is loaded with kelp which otters love to roll up into while they use their tummies as plates while they eat.

Want to get a closer look? Rent a kayak or stand up paddle board from Adventures by the Sea at Lovers Point and search for otters, seals and other marine animals.

Point Lobos State Reserve

Further south from Lovers Point lays Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel. This animal sanctuary is a great place for hiking, scuba diving, birding and spotting sea otters, of course. You can often see them bobbing around near the rocky shores and protected coves. Be sure to check out Sand Hill Cove, Whalers Cove and Cypress Cove in particular.

Lay of the Land

Lay of the Land

VIEW MONTEREY COUNTY MAP

County Map

VIEW DETAILED MAPS

Click on the links for high-resolution maps of Monterey County communities, suitable for printing: Monterey, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Sand City and Moss Landing.

WANT TO GET HERE FAST?

Fly direct from these five airports:
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport (PHX)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)

×
Get Our eNewsletter

Get Our eNewsletter

Monterey County's monthly newsletter keeps you up-to-date with upcoming event information, itinerary ideas, occasional contests & more. more

Free Travel Guide

Free Travel Guide
Find out everything there is to see and do in Monterey County with the 2015 Offi...

more

Monterey Spotlight

Featured Events

All
  • Jul 10 2015

    Aerosmith at the Salinas Sports Complex

    Legendary and iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Aerosmith will kick off Big Week in a BIG way with...more

  • Jul 16 2015

    California Rodeo Salinas

    Each July, the West comes alive in Salinas with the California Rodeo Salinas at the Salinas Sports...more

  • Jul 17 2015

    FIM Superbike World Championship

    The sounds of motorcycles will again roar through the central California hillsides as the FIM...more

  • Jul 18 2015

    78th Annual Carmel Bach Festival

    Carmel Bach Festival, a world-class festival of music and ideas celebrating the works, inspiration,...more

Specials

All
  • Flash Your Badge for 10% Off!

    When meeting attendees visit Cafe La Strada and show a meeting badge you will receive 10% off....more

  • Free Consultation

    The Offset Project has calculated the carbon footprint and worked with its partners to tailor an...more

  • Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card

    The “Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card and Special Offers Campaign includes a free VIP Card...more

  • Flash Your Badge for Club Member Rewards

    The Del Monte Shopping Center is located just minutes from downtown Monterey and its top...more

  • Flash Your Badge for Various Discounts

    Come by the Carmel Plaza Concierge Center located on the second level next to Cole Haan. Receive a...more

  • Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

    Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2015 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations...more

  • FREE APPETIZER or 1 HR of POOL

    Choose a FREE APP or 1Hr of Pool with any $20 purchase on selected items *Mention SEEMONTEREY to our...more

  • Flash Your Badge for a Complimentary Appetizer

    Portola Hotel & Spa is proud to participate in the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s...more

  • Flash Your Badge for a Complimentary Dessert

    Portola Hotel & Spa is proud to participate in the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s...more

  • Flash Your Badge for 20% Discount

    When meeting attendees visit Highway 1 Golf Games & Grub and show a meeting badge we will provide a...more

  • Flash Your Badge for 20% Discount

    When meeting attendees visit Monterey Mirror Maze and show a meeting badge we will provide a 20%...more

  • Flash Your Badge for Complimentary Tastings

    When meeting attendees visit Joyce Vineyards and show a meeting badge we will provide a...more