Año Nuevo State Park draws visitors from around the world to observe massive northern elephant seals, which can weigh up to 5,000 pounds and reach lengths up to 16 feet long. The park’s Natural Preserve offers an extraordinary wilderness experience where you can observe the world's largest mainland breeding colony of elephant seals - every year up to 10,000 elephant seals return to breed, give birth, and molt their skin amongst the scenic dunes and beaches. The park also features the Marine Education Center, housed in the historic nineteenth century dairy ranch of the Dickerman/Steele family, boasting a natural history exhibit, bookstore, and theater. Elephant seals can be observed at Año Nuevo State Park year round either on a docent lead tour or through a self guided permit system within the Wildlife Viewing Area. While the elephant seals are the main attraction here, the park does offer a beautiful picnic area with ocean views, and Cove Beach is a short walk from the parking lot.