At any given point during the year, different species of whales are migrating off the Pacific coast near San Diego. This makes it difficult to identify the best months for whale watching, but it is good for you because it means that you are likely to see whales whenever you set out on a tour for dog friendly whale watching.

When Do Whales Migrate?

The Pacific Ocean is home to many different species of whales. Many of these species migrate, but they do not all migrate at the same time. This is good news for the whales, as they might get into a massive underwater traffic jam. It is also good news for you because it means that, whenever you book your whale watching tour, you should be able to see whales of one species or another.

If you just want to see whales and the species does not matter, you can schedule your tour for whenever is convenient for you. However, if you are interested in seeing a particular species of whale, you may need to schedule your tour while its migration is in progress.

Here are some whale species that are commonly seen off the coast of San Diego and when their migrations take place:

  • Gray Whale: Whale watching San Diego December is likely to provide a glimpse of the gray whale. Every year, from December to April, gray whales migrate from Alaska to Baja California and back again.
  • Blue Whale: The blue whale is the largest animal on earth. Its migration takes it along the San Diego coast during the summer, starting in May.
  • Humpback Whale: Smaller than blue whales but larger than gray whales, humpback whales are known for haunting underwater vocalizations that sound like singing. Peak humpback viewing is in November, but you could see them any time from September to January.
  • Fin Whale: The fin whale is second only to the blue whale in size. Their migration brings them near San Diego from approximately July to September.

Best Whale Watching Locations

Most people agree that San Diego whale watching tours are the best way to see the animals. You are in their native habitat and get to see them as close up as possible. Nevertheless, there are also places in and around San Diego where you may be able to spot whales from shore.

Torrey Pines State Reserve is home to 1,750 miles of hiking trails. A few of these stay right by the shore to provide ocean views, so if you are interested in doing some hiking while watching for whales, this is the place. Cabrillo National Monument offers some spectacular ocean views from its western overlooks, and whales sometimes pass right by there, so this could be a great place for whale watching from shore. There is even a spot specifically named “Whale Overlook,” and even if you don’t spot any of the gentle giants from up there, you can still enjoy the incredible panoramic views.

Regardless of whether you decide to take a whale watching tour or take your chances from shore, bring a pair of binoculars for the best view possible.