The Best Places to Go Whale Watching on the West Coast

For many communities across the West Coast, the whale-watching season is one of the biggest seasons. This season is full of festivals and of course numerous cruises for whale-watching. While many of these cruises could be really pricey some of them are quite affordable. If you are one of those nature-loving types, this annual migration season of whales between Alaska and Mexico will guarantee those breath-taking views and of course the fascinating whales slowly moving majestically across the sea.

In this piece, we will explore some of the best places around the West Coast where you can go whale watching. Let’s take a closer look at these places.

Mendocino, California

With the three big time festivals around in Mendocino namely the Mendocino Whale Festival, Fort Bragg Festival and the Little River Festival, this is one of the best places to visit for whale lovers. You can easily spot whales without any help of a tour guide. The best vantage points from where the whales could be spotted are Mendocino Headlands State Park and the Point Arena Lighthouse. You can go for boat excursions in Fort Bragg for as little as $35.

San Diego

There are some amazing places to go around and enjoy whale watching in San Diego. In fact, whale watching is one activity that San Diego (particularly La Jolla) is well known for. Some of the Vantage points include the Whale Watch Point near the historical Cabrillo Monument Lighthouse, the towers of the Torrey Pines State Reserve, and of course the patio at the back of the Birch Aquarium. If you want to go visiting in the sea, some companies provide 2-3 hour whale watching tours where you can either kayak out to sea or be brought out in a boat to get a closer look.

San Francisco

You can make use of an online peer to peer marketplace to rent a boat as well. GetMyBoat is one such service where you can get boat rented from boat owners for a 2.5-hour ride that not just facilitates whale watching but some of the exclusive scenes of other sea creatures such as dolphins, seals, porpoises, etc. Not just that, you can also explore some bird colonies as well in the sea. It will cost $35 for kids and $45 for adults.

Oceanside, California

If you wish to see these amazing marine creatures all at once, you will not be disappointed. Fin whales, Minke whales, and Gray whales are common sightings in this area. You can take the 2-hour boat trips offered by Oceanside Adventures from the Oceanside Harbor, that promises the participants spectacular views and sightings of the four dolphin species, sea birds and sea lions. The captain on these boats is a naturalist who narrates the trip. Tickets are available at $35 for kids below 12 years of age and $45 for adults.

Monterey Bay, California

The whale watching in Monterey is as good as going on an African Safari due to the availability of blue whales, humpbacks, minke whales, fin whales, and gray whales. You can also spot these whales from the land as well. The best thing to do is to drive southwards along the Big Sur via the Highway. The boat rides are available for Adults @44, children between 4 to 12 @ $29, and $15 for kids 3 years and below.

Washington State

The coast of this city is famous for the killer whale or Orca sightings. Whale watching may get more expensive than many other places but you may still get the best deals here. The tours are organized by Everett and are priced at $29 for kids and $69 for adults, however, you may get some discounts. You can also see the animals from the land from the Lime Kiln State Park Point which is famous for whale watching.


Gray whales pass nearly five miles away from the coast of Oregon on their way to Mexico for the breeding season that falls between December and January. While coming back they get even more closer to the coast between March and June. This yearly migration of about 18,000 whales ensures you enjoy some breathtakingly beautiful scenes of these majestic animals moving about in all their glory. The providers are the Tradewinds Charters in the Depoe Bay offering cheap whale watching cruises for children at $10 to $18 and for adults at $20.


The West Coast is full of amazing places for that animal and sea lover in you. Embark on one of these beautiful journeys along the west coast and witness some of the most beautiful phenomena of nature in all its wonderful glory.

This post will surely help you with some good to know information for your plans.

Mohammad Deas

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