Error message

Lingotek profile ID 4 not found.
Pacific Marine Mammal Center VC_Kidifornia_FreeAttractions_Module_PacificMarineMammalCenter_Stock_ED_GET9Y0_1280x640
Reuters/Alamy

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Pacific Marine Mammal Center
Get up close to seals and sea lions at California’s first marine mammal rescue center in Laguna Beach

Sea lions and seals are on the mend at this marine mammal rescue centrethe first of its kind in the state of California.

In fact, it was founded before the federal government’s Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. The centre’s rescue efforts date back to 1971, when Jim Stauffer, a Newport Beach lifeguard, discovered an ailing sea lion on the beach and nursed it back to health at home. After that, local lifeguards started contacting Stauffer whenever they found an injured seal or sea lion.

Today, the centre is housed in a building at the foot of Laguna Canyon Hills, alongside a waterway that leads to the ocean. Inside, you can see the seals and sea lions that have been rescued between Seal Beach, south of Long Beach, and San Onofre, just north of San Diego County. They are recovering from any number of maladies—from dehydration to shark bites, fish hook injuries to respiratory infections (check the centre’s web site to see the current list of residents, which are given names like Whiskers, Avocado, and Syrah). You can also spend time by the pool, watching seals and sea lions that are feeling better—and are almost ready to head back to the wild—play in the sunshine.

Stroll along the banks of the waterway, and you’ll see other, non-marine critters in a butterfly garden stocked with cassia, California fuchsia, and white yarrow.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center OC_Hero_HuntingtonCouple_Mansfield_1280x642_sized
Scott Mansfield

Southern California

Discover Orange County

Pacific Marine Mammal Center vca_maps_orangecounty
18
October
Average (°C)
Sept - Nov
31°
High
5°
Low
Dec - Feb
15°
High
2°
Low
Mar - May
26°
High
5°
Low
June - Aug
35°
High
11°
Low

Whether it’s manicured beach towns or celebrated theme parks, all framed by oceanfront towns and luxury yachts, “The OC” stands out as one of the state’s most iconic destinations. The always-amazing Disneyland Resort, roughly a 1-hour drive south of L.A. and 2 hours north of San Diego, continues to be one of the best-loved theme parks in the world, while Knott’s Berry Farms and other OC attractions amp up the fun meter.

“Surfing is like golf. . . it keeps knocking you down. But when you stay with it and catch that wave. . . magic.”  --actor Dennis Quaid

Shop at spectacular South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, or get the surfer look in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City, USA. 

Pacific Marine Mammal Center FF_VCW_D_OC_T10_BalboaBeach_Mansfield
Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776, was the first winery in California.
The magic of Disneyland, walking through the tunnel underneath the train station to Main Street, it just transports you to other places and other times.
John Lasseter
Pacific Marine Mammal Center 1_SpotlightAnaheim_Opener_gty_RF_139695934_1280x640_downsized_0
Carsten Erler/Getty Images

Spotlight: Anaheim

Pacific Marine Mammal Center vca_maps_orangecounty
Amazing attractions, shopping and dining in the one-of-a-kind Orange County town

With its laid-back atmosphere and unbeatable attractions, this vibrant city on the north-west side of Orange County has become a popular...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate playgrounds

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone. Take a tram ride to tour movie back lots at Universal Studios...

Pacific Marine Mammal Center AmazingThemeParks_preview_868x686
Lucas Himovitz
Orange County is the cultural center of the surf world and Huntington Beach is like the heartbeat.
Corky Carroll (Orange County surf legend)
Pacific Marine Mammal Center VCW_D_OC_T4_Shopping_Manley1280x642
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

O.C. Shopping

Discover boutique brands and bargains

Shopping in The O.C. is almost as legendary as surfing. Start at expansive South Coast Plaza, California’s largest luxury shopping complex, with...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you're in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you'll find it here. Want to sample fresh produce? Try our farmers...

Pacific Marine Mammal Center Shopping_SpecialFeature_preview_686x885_0
July/August

With a nickname like “Surf City, U.S.A.,” Huntington Beach is the obvious place for this 9-day, sun-and-wave extravaganza, the world’s largest surf event. Top pros including Kelly Slater and Rob...

Surfers competing in the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing
William Fovall/Flickr
Pacific Marine Mammal Center vca_maps_orangecounty
Pacific Marine Mammal Center RitzCarltonLagunaNiguel_1280x642
Courtesy of Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

Orange County's Luxury Resorts

Live like a star at posh getaways

The good life might have been invented in “The O.C.”—especially when it comes to resort destinations. With spas, elegant dining, posh lodgings,...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Get into the coastal vibe

Maybe it’s the sun-streaked hair, the frequent smiles, the eyes always gazing west, looking to the horizon to see when the next set might roll in. It’s the unmistakable look and vibe of a...

Pacific Marine Mammal Center VCW_TI_8_hero_Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.35.53 AM
SPECIAL FEATURE
Discover the awesome sports scene in the Golden State

With nearly twice as many professional teams as any other state, California is big league all the way. But the state’s sports scene goes far beyond football and baseball, with a diverse line-up of...

Pacific Marine Mammal Center PebbleBeachProAm_ChristinaLauren_preview_686x885
Christina Lauren/Flickr
Pacific Marine Mammal Center VCW_D_OC_T7_IMG_5467_1280x642
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Crystal Cove State Park

Stroll a perfect beach with an intriguing past

In 1912, an early Laguna Beach artist described finding a rugged coastline “with cove after cove and headland after headland, golden cliffs and...

SPECIAL FEATURE
From Gold Rush history to the 8th wonder of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

Pacific Marine Mammal Center McWayFalls_JPB_SP_preview_686x885
Amy Meredith/Flickr
Pacific Marine Mammal Center CTTC_Pelican_Golf3-047_sized_0

Golf in Orange County

Tee up at top courses, with some ocean views

With ideal Southern California weather and some of the country’s most celebrated courses, Orange County justly earns the nickname “California Golf...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind-the-scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of worth-the-...

Pacific Marine Mammal Center VCW_SI_VIP_T1_MichaelSaechang_preview_686x885
Michael Saechang/Flickr
Pacific Marine Mammal Center VCW_D_T9_Great Park Balloon above the Palm Court Arts Complex_sized
Courtesy of Orange County Great Park

Orange County Great Park

Explore an impressive urban park

Turning former military land into a roughly 1,300-acre/526-hectare green space, this Irvine park is as ambitious as it is...

Pacific Marine Mammal Center FunFact_Great Park Balloon above the Palm Court Arts Complex_sized
Every year, the Orange County Great Park Balloon dons a smiling jack-o-lantern mask, marking the unofficial start of fall in Orange County.