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Whale Watching

July 15, 2022

Witness the migration of these magnificent beasts from a boat or the shore

A lengthy Pacific coastline along whale migration routes makes San Diego perfect for whale watching. Luckily for visitors, our town boasts year-round whale watching opportunities, depending on which type of whale you’d like to see.  

The winter and spring months are the most popular time to glimpse gray whales as they make their way from the cold waters of Alaska to warm and sunny Baja California in Mexico. But don’t discount summer — that’s when blue whales are cruising past. These creatures tend to travel further offshore, so a cruise tour is a must in order to see them.

To a lesser extent, there are opportunities to see fin whales and humpback whales, both of which pass through the area on a year-round basis.

While whale-watching cruises are the most popular way to encounter these seafaring mammals, you have other options. In La Jolla, a whale-watching kayak tour can get you out further offshore to the whale’s stomping grounds, so to speak. There are also several spots in town where you can potentially see whales from the shore, including Ellen Browning Scripps Park, Birch Aquarium, and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

Whale-watching in La Jolla is an awe-inspiring experience. Even if you don’t spot any whales, you’re very likely to see dolphins, harbor seals, and sea lions. And some tour operators may even promise you a free second trip if you don’t see any whales the first time.