The beautiful coastline around San Diego is a year-round attraction for locals and visitors alike. One of the best aspects of this is the abundance of animal activity. San Diego offers some of the best whale watching in the country. Of course, you don’t want to arrive and learn that there are no whales around. So, when is whale watching season in San Diego?
Best Times for Whale Watching in San Diego
The best time for whale watching in San Diego starts around mid-December and continues through April. During the start of the season through mid-February, whales can be spotted from the shore with binoculars. Other times, they are further out from the shore. March is perhaps the best month as mothers and calves begin to return north, but you can see plenty of whales throughout the season.
What You Can Expect During Whale Watching Season
Between December and April, a four-hour cruise will include several sightings of whales around the area. San Diego’s thriving marine ecosystem has plenty more to see as well. You can be confident that you will get a memorable experience during this time of year.
The Whales of San Diego
The most common type of whales in the area are gray whales which migrate during whale watching season. Some of the other whales you can expect to see around San Diego include gray minke whales, humpback whales, fin whales and orcas. Additionally, many people spot Risso’s dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and Pacific white-sided dolphins.
Gray whales tend to travel alone or in small pods. They tend to be in their largest groups during their migratory season. You’d be hard-pressed to miss them while out on a whale-watching boat because they are about as long as a basketball court is wide.
Late in the season, you may be treated to a special view: mother gray whales returning north with their calves. Even if you are earlier in the winter, you can be confident you will be treated to some majestic views. You are almost guaranteed several impressive sightings during the whales’ migratory season.
Spotting Blue Whales in San Diego
The gray whale migration is widely considered to be the best whale watching San Diego has to offer. However, it isn’t the only chance to spot one of these oceanic giants. During the summer months, blue whales migrate near San Diego. These are the largest known creatures on the earth. Almost unimaginably large, blue whales are truly a sight to behold.
Around 2,000 to 3,000 whales migrate from Antarctica to Costa Rica during the summer months. Beyond blue whales, you may also see humpback whales, fin whales, pilot whales and orcas.
Start Your Whale Watching Adventure
The next time you have a chance to visit San Diego in whale watching season, book your tickets. It is a genuinely memorable experience for anyone who takes a cruise. There are so many companies that will take you including sailboats that are a little gentler for people who suffer from motion sickness. Check out whale watching tours today and get a chance to see the majesty of San Diego’s whales yourself.