The tail of the whale is visible while whale watching. The tail of the whale is visible while whale watching.

Plunge into Wonder: Top 5 Whale Watching in San Diego

In San Diego, you can get great views of whales within a few hours of the cruise, and of course, you will get a chance to devour delectable food. Moreover, you can click some amazing pictures and make core memories with your loved ones.

During the summers, the Alaskan whales move to the warm waters of Mexico, leaving their cold feeding ground.

Every year, more than 1500 California whales migrate to mate and raise their calves. When the temperature rises, the whales go back to their food-rich Alaskan waters.

This whole process can be seen during whale watching in San Diego. This is a home for several other marine animals, and you can see dolphins, sea lions, and seals during your cruise.

Learn more about Whale watching Cruises.

1. Types of Whales and Dolphins

1.1. Gray Whales

These whales are usually seen during Winter and Spring; this is one of the largest annual migrations of mammals, as they travel around 6000 miles.

An average matured gray whale is 49ft long and weighs about 72000 lbs. You can view the whales returning with their calves during April or May during whale watching in San Diego.

1.2. Pacific White-Sided Dolphin

These dolphins have a unique colour pattern, and their sides are light gray. Further, they have white stripes along the side, weigh about 300 lbs and have a length of 7-8ft.

You will love them as they are social and tend to enjoy the company of other marine species.

Image by
Stacey Morrison / Unsplash / Copyrights 2021

1.3. Blue Whales

They are one of the largest mammals on earth but also one of the endangered species. The size of a blue whale is 29.9 meters, and can weigh about 173 tonnes.

Blue whales were once found in almost all oceans, and these giants can also be seen on San Diego whale-watching tours.

1.4. Common Dolphin

These are of two types: Short-beaked and long-beaked. The average size of a common dolphin is 300 lbs, but they swim very fast.

They have some special adaptive features, like using their special organs to create an image of the objects underwater.

A picture taken in the middle of a waterbody from a boat. Strong waves of water are seen from the boat.
By Rosamar/ Shutterstock

1.5. Humpback Whales

These whales are known as acrobats among whales; they can measure about 40ft in length and 80000 lbs in the matured state.

Humpback whales can be seen throughout the year during whale watching in San Diego.

2. Things to Carry While Whale Watching

  • Remember to wear sunscreen and sunglasses because you will get sunburned easily from San Diego, as it is the southernmost region in the USA.
  • Bring your camera or any video recording device to capture the vividness of marine life. Also, take binoculars for better viewing of whales.
  • If you have seasickness, don’t forget to take any remedies for that.
  • You can buy water on the cruise, so even if you don’t carry it, that’s not a big issue.
Blue whales
Photo by Georg Wolf on Unsplash /Copyright 2021

3. Viewpoints

You can watch whales from several viewpoints. There are many great locations to see whale migration, even from the shore, like the Birch Aquarium, Torrey Pines State Reserve, and the Cabrillo National Monument.

There are many sightseeing tour programs available for whale watching in San Diego, and you must take part in whale-watching excursions to see the mighty blue whales.

Further, Cabrillo National Park is a shore-based viewpoint; you can visit this place to explore other activities as well.

4. Best Time to Visit

Grey Whale watching season begins in mid-December and continues till the end of April; this is the period in which gray whales start their journey from Alaska to California.

San Diego coastline is the whales’ way to reach their destination. Therefore, you can witness all these giant mammals moving subtly underwater.

The next season of whale watching begins in mid-June and extends to September; this is the time when Blue whales migrate. Since they are a group of the world’s largest species, watching them is an amusing experience.

Changes in temperatures attract blue whales to the coastline of San Diego. To see these magnificent creatures, a boat tour is recommended, as viewing from the shore may not be that satisfying.

Find more about whale watching.

shutterstock 1688252671
Source: Manuel Balesteri/Shutterstock

Closing Thoughts

Make your holidays more enjoyable by experiencing whale watching tours; these can take up your whole day with the promise of having fun for all!

Whether you want to see minke whales, fin whales, humpback whales, or catch a glimpse of the gray whale migration. If you are looking for whale watching in San Diego whale watching, then these 5 spot is all you need,


Last Updated on September 29, 2023 by Sathi Chakraborty

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