If you would be as excited as I was about seeing sea lions up close, then you should definitely check out La Jolla Cove. La Jolla is a region within the city of San Diego, California. When picturing a map of San Diego, which I did not realize is a very large and expansive city, La Jolla is located north of downtown San Diego and runs right along the western coast. For reference, La Jolla is about twenty minutes from the Gaslamp Quarter and San Diego Zoo.
If you are driving to La Jolla and will need parking, I have found that as you park further from the water the price goes down. When parking two block from the water, the parking garage offered a low daily price while a parking garage right across from the water charged almost the same for an hour. Another perk for parking a block or two from the water is that if you plan on eating in La Jolla then you will most likely venture a few blocks from the water anyways.
When I first arrived to La Jolla Cove I was excited to see sea lions up close. Now I would not recommend getting too close to them, but from what I saw the animals were calm, ignored the groups of people taking their picture, and napped through the whole thing so I would not worry about safety. I was especially shocked at how many sea lions there were near La Jolla Cove. You can find them waddling along the sand, climbing over the rocks, and swimming alongside surfers and kayaks. The only negative I had from La Jolla Cove was the smell due to the sea lions. I do not know how people were able to eat at a restaurant on the water with such a strong and terrible smell.
There is also a path and a large grassy area along the water where you will probably find local artists selling their work and children running around.