How to Find the Best Whale Watching Spots in San Diego

best whale watching san diego


One of the most popular activities in the San Diego area is whale watching. At almost any time during the year, if you are at the right place, you can witness one of the most spectacular mammals on earth.


Read on for information about these magnificent creations and how you can experience the best whale watching this area has to offer.


The Gray Whale


Gray whales make a yearly migration from Alaska to the warm waters off Baja California for their birthing cycle. It is estimated that around 20,000 of these gray whales make this journey starting in the middle of December and returning around April.


San Diego is in their direct path and with over 70 miles of shoreline; this is a great place to view this migration. Some of these beautiful whales can even be seen from land.


The Blue Whale


Blue whales are the largest creatures on the planet and can be seen off the San Diego coast from June through September. Recent changes in warmer ocean temperatures draw them to this area along with abundant kelp offshore.


The blue whales tend to migrate further out into the ocean than the gray whales, so a boat trip is usually required to see one of these gentle giants.


Water Tours


There are several boat tour companies that offer San Diego whale watching trips for an up-close experience. The captain and crews are well versed in the migration habits of these whales and can provide a wealth of information as well as the perfect spot to find them.


If you are worried about paying money and not seeing a whale, some tours will guarantee a sighting, and if none are found the first time, they offer another free trip until they are.


In addition to boat tours, there are also kayak tours available. For the more adventurous type, and a truly intimate encounter, consider taking a kayak out into the waters where these mammals are traveling.


Best Whale Watching by Land


Many people do not like the thought of bobbing up and down on the ocean water and prefer to whale watch from land. There are several places to view these wonderful creatures from solid ground.


Birch Aquarium is a great place to watch the migration of gray whales.


Torrey Pines State National Park Reserves is another spot that offers hiking trails leading to great views of the ocean.


Another great location is Cabrillo National Monument where gray whales are often spotted on the western side of the overlooks. The park even has a peak called Whale Overlook, which offers some of the most beautiful panoramic views of the coastline.


Memorable Adventures


Regardless of whether you book a boat excursion, try your hand with a kayak, or hike to the peak of a trail, the best whale watching in San Diego is waiting for you.


These amazing creatures are graceful and awe-inspiring and offer a once in a lifetime experience. Be sure to add whale watching in San Diego to your bucket list today!


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