Where to Go San Diego Whale Watching: Top Locations & Tours

Anyone who has ever visited San Diego knows that the surrounding Pacific Ocean is very much part of the
fabric of the city. From the beautiful beaches to the outdoor adventures, San Diego would not be the same
without such an iconic ocean landscape.


One of the most unique features of our coastal city is the opportunity for year-round whale watching.
Guests of Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina can enjoy easy access to the best whale
watching locations and tours.


San Diego’s location provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for whale watching. Throughout the year,
both gray and blue whales journey through our waters as part of their annual migration.

Those visiting San Diego in the winter or spring will bear witness as more than 20,000 gray whales travel
down the west coast of the US. In the summer and fall, the world’s largest creature, the blue whale, will be
visible in San Diego. With some whales growing up to 100-feet long, this is one experience no one visiting
San Diego should miss.


During the winter and spring migration season, gray whales can sometimes be spotted breaching the water’s
surface from land. Some of the best places on land for San Diego whale watching include the Birch Aquarium,
Cabrillo National Monument, and Torrey Pines State Reserve.


While the whales can be seen from land, there is nothing quite like seeing the beautiful creatures up close.
San Diego offers many options for boat tours and cruises to suit all kinds of adventures.


The traditional charter boat cruise is often the most popular option for whale watching. These boats typically
hold larger groups of people while still allowing you to view all of the breathtaking action within close range.

San Diego Whale Watch
offers year-round tours and deals.


For smaller, private groups, the best option is sailing tours. San Diego Sailing Tours allows you to enjoy the
beautiful Pacific Ocean while sailing around in search of whales and other exciting marine life, like dolphins
and seals.


The most up close and intimate whale watching experience is far and away the kayaking tours. La Jolla Kayak
provides 2.5-hour guided tours where guests are sitting ocean level as these gigantic and magnificent animals
breach the surface.


No matter how you choose to catch a glimpse of the San Diego whales, you are guaranteed to have the
experience of a lifetime.