Sea Lions and Fish Markets on Port San Luis in Avila

This place is a hidden gem if you are not familiar with the area. I only heard about it by having friends who attended Cal Poly, so they heard about it living up there. On the end of the Port of San Luis Pier, there is a small set of stairs where you can get up close and personal with a lot of sea lions. Update 2018, one reader said the area is now closed off, so you may not be able to see them anymore.

Avila Sea Lions 13


  • Free
  • Heed the warnings as they can bite and don’t get too close
  • There is parking at the end of the pier

After driving to the Port of San Luis pier you can drive all the way out to the end where there are about eight parking spots, so it is worth checking there first, but it can fill up.

Avila Sea Lions 2

After parking, you will be looking for a small staircase on the right-hand side with a white gate telling you the rules for dealing with the sea lions. All you have to do is go through the gate, and you will see them.

Avila Sea Lions 8

Sometimes there are a lot, sometimes there aren’t, but last time I was there, there was probably at least 30. You couldn’t even walk to the bottom of the stairs as there were so many.

Here are some more photos of the impressive sea lions.

Avila Sea Lions 15

Avila Sea Lions 14

Avila Sea Lions 11

Fish Shop

After you check out the sea lions, proceed onwards towards the end of the pier and go to the fish shop for a ton of excellent fresh seafood you can buy to cook at home.

Avila Sea Lions 4

There is everything from oysters to crab all in massive tanks, so they stay fresh.

Avila Sea Lions 7

There is also a restaurant at the end of the pier as well, but I have not tried it so I cannot comment. I have been told it is good though.

Avila Sea Lions 5

If you want to see the sea lions from far away, you can also walk up and down the pier where you will see them lounging on the docks out in the water, however, the spot above is obviously a better place to view them.

Avila Sea Lions 1

All in all, this is a super fun place to take the family and interact with wildlife, just make sure to abide by the rules and not get to close to the sea lions. Check out the rest of the photos and leave a comment below.

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