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This out-and-back meanders along coastal bluffs past the still-operating 1875 Piedras Blancas Light Station and several craggy outcroppings where bellowing California sea lions and sunbathing harbor seals hang. (The area is the largest northern elephant seal rookery in the Lower 48.) Look for sea otters rafting beyond the breakers in the canopies of giant bladder kelp, as well as gray whales spouting jets of water in the ocean beyond.
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