Gray whales travel along the central California coast during their annual migrations between their calving grounds in Baja California and feeding grounds in Alaska. The whales are generally southbound in December and January, and northbound in March and April. The best time to see them from Cayucos is March and April, when mothers and calves travel closer to shore.
Humpback whale populations are rebounding, and are increasingly seen from shore along the Pacific Coast. Dolphins are commonly seen from the pier, hunting baitfish like anchovies or playing in the surf.
Sea lions haul out on nearby Mouse Rock. Listen for their raucous barks.
Kelp beds, to the left of the pier, provide protection and food for marine mammals.
Explore the tide pools to the north and see more wildlife including starfish, sea anemones, crabs, or sea urchins.