Whale Watching

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San Diego Whale Watching

San Diego’s coastline is nothing short of spectacular and the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay are an integral part of the attraction to San Diego. San Diego is the home of many ocean centric activities that include surfing, diving, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and wake boarding, but one of the most spectacular activities is whale watching.

Whale watching is one of nature’s greatest spectacles; the annual migration of the gray whales, one of the largest mammals on earth, is a must see if you have never experience it. San Diego’s coastline happens to be one of the migratory pass points during their trek to and from the Arctic waters to the warm water lagoons of Baja California.

Each year, around 25,000 gray whales make the 10,000 mile journey from the Arctic Sea towards Baja California and then back again. In fact, the gray whale’s trip is the longest migration undertaken by any mammal.

In San Diego, gray whales are most frequently seen off San Diego from late December through March

Whale watching is a fun and memorable activity for the entire family. To spot a gray whale swimming off the San Diego coastline is an awe-inspiring sight that makes us appreciate these giant creatures. Experiencing a whale breach is quite a memorable experience. It is common to see gray whales propel the length of their body out of the water, then crash down making a magnificent wave. Seeing this occur is a sure way to appreciate the size and agility of these remarkable creatures.

Gray Whales generally travel alone or in groups of two or three. Grays are relatively slow swimmers, cruising at an average speed of five knots.  While swimming, they typically dive to a depth of about 100 feet for three to five minutes, then surface and blow, followed by a series of three to five shallow dives and blows before they dive deeply again.

Although it is common to view and spot gray whales from strategic shoreline vantage points such as Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma or from the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Beach, nothing matches the experience of seeing the grays aboard a whale watching cruise.

San Diego Whale Watching Opportunities

  • Hornblower whale watching cruises  |   619-222-2222  |  Three-and-a-half hour whale watching excursion.
  • Harbor Excursions & Birch Aquarium  |   619-123-4567  |  An educational whale-watching experience.
  • Whale watching H&M Landing  |  619-276-8498  |  Whale watching tours embarking from San Diego Bay for 3 hours.
  • Hike Bike Kayak San Diego  |  619-123-6789  |   Guided kayak trips to observe whales & the La Jolla Ecological Reserve.

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