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Recommended by Pamela Coddington

The Marine Mammal Center, San Francisco

Address 2000 Bunker Road, Sausalito, CA 94965-2619 Map, Tel 415.289.7325 Call, Website

Whether you’re an environmentalist wanting to understand what plights affect the residents of our oceans or a parent of school-age children looking to see a cute baby seal, there are lots of discoveries to make at The Marine Mammal Center’s rebuilt headquarters in Sausalito, California. The Center’s glass walls and viewing platforms allow visitors to peer into the workings of a state-of-the-art animal rescue, rehabilitation and release facility – from food preparation stations to animal care chartrooms and patient pools housing a variety of species. It also reveals key areas used for marine mammal research – from laboratory activities to necropsies (post-mortem marine mammal examinations). Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Free admission and small fees for docent and audio tours. Free self-guided tours available.