The Best California Beaches & Harbors for Whale Watching

a majestic blue whale
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What better place to whale watch than California, the place where whale watching originated? California has always been one of the most popular destinations for whale watching since it began in 1950. The West Coast is home to one of the most epic whale migrations. Throughout the year, almost 20,000 whales migrate 6,000 miles from Alaska to Baja California and back again to mate and breed. With experienced and knowledgeable whale watching tour guides, you can see epic whale sightings as they make this incredible journey across the Pacific.

Below are some of our favorite beaches and harbors for the most magical whale sightings sunny California has to offer.

Long Beach & Los Angeles

Long Beach is one of the best options for year-round whale watching. Long Beach and Los Angeles offer great opportunities to observe blue whale migrations June through October as well as gray whales December to April. Many sightings of humpbacks have been recorded year-round as well, so if you’re lucky you’ll spot those too! Some of the best whale watching cruises depart from the Long Beach coast, offering amazing whale watching sights that the entire family will love.

San Diego

San Diego was the city where whale watching originated. In 1950, the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego was declared an official venue for observing the migration of gray whales. Since then, San Diego has always been a great location for whale sightings by sea or even by land. There are so many options to sit back, relax, and watch the incredible majestic sea creatures in their natural habitat.

San Francisco

San Francisco is a great location for whale watching, especially during the winter months. From December through February, it’s been recorded that the majority of gray whales pass within 1 mile north of San Francisco Peninsula. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot whale spouts from the coast, but there are so many whale watching cruise options that can offer you an incredible view of these sea mammals.

Looking for the Best Whale Watching Tour?

For decades, Harbor Breeze has been one of the leaders in whale watching tours, offering insightful, expert commentary throughout the excursion so passengers can get the absolute most out of their experience on the ocean. We have expert knowledge of whale migration patterns throughout the Pacific and work hard to show our passengers as many sea creatures as possible on the journey. We hope you will join us for your next whale watching tour for a truly unforgettable experience. Book your ticket reservation with us today! We look forward to having you on board soon.

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