Posted by: Bethany Davis | May 3, 2012

San Fran: seals at Año Neuvo (part 4 of 5)

stopping for a few pictures on highway one

It was time to say goodbye to San Fran. We ran into Trader Joe’s to get some supplies for the day, then picked up our rental car (we got a lovely upgrade to a car with leather seats, seat warmers, and a sun roof. score!). We navigated our way down highway one and along the beautiful coast.

When we arrived in the fishing village of Pescadero we stopped by Arcangeli Grocery to pick up some sandwiches in their famous bakery. Then, it was off to Año Nuevo State Park, which is famous for the elephant seals that mate on the beach.

our romantic picnic spot

During the winter months, a guide is required to take you to see the seals. After March, you are free to take the 3 mile roundtrip hike by yourself. So, we hiked to the edge of the wildlife reserve (no food allowed past this point), and camped out for a little picnic. Our private view of the Pacific ocean was perfect and so romantic! The waves were crashing against the rocks and a little birdie even hopped over to visit.

elephant seals!


After climbing the sand dunes,  we reached the elephant seals. They were about 25 feet away from us, and so large and blubbery! Some were sunning and some were romping in the water. What’s amazing is that we got to see them in their natural habitat, as opposed to a zoo or some form of captivity.  Año Nuevo is the largest mainland breeding colony in the world for the northern elephant seal. Over 2,000 pups are born each year! We gathered with a small crowd to watch the seals and take pictures. Everyone was quiet and spoke in whispers, as if we all knew we were trespassing on their turf. How amazing it was to see such a unique animal that God created!

Next (and final) stop: Butano State Park to see the redwoods!


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