The California coast is home to a diverse array of marine mammal and bird species, with many easy access points for viewing tours. The coastline sees annual migrations of blue, gray and humpback whales, and nearly year-round sightings of fin and minke whales. A variety of dolphin species, including Risso's dolphin and killer whales, may also be seen. The gray whale migration lasts from January through May, peaking in March. Humpbacks follow a similar schedule, with numbers of Fin and Blue whales peaking in August.
Shorelines and offshore islands provide homes to harbor seals, California sea lions, and sea otters, as well as nesting habitat for a host of marine birds. Terns, gulls, cormorants, pelicans, and puffins occur here. The migratory bird species follow roughly the same seasons as the gray and humpback whales, summering in the arctic and coming south in the winter.
Address: 4151 South Victoria Avenue, Oxnard, CA 93035
Phone: (805) 382-2900
why you should book: Channel Islands Whale Watching offers seasonal whale watching in the pristine waters in and around the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. Cruises include migratory Gray Whales, Orcas, Humpback Whales, Blue Whales, Finback Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions, and many many bird species.
Address: 400 Main Street, Newport Beach, CA 92661
Phone: (949) 673-1434
why you should book: Davey’s Locker Whale Watching offers year round whale watching cruises viewing many varieties of whales and dolphin including blue whales, humpback whales, finback whales, gray whales, and many others. Huge Marine Park just outside Newport Bay makes Newport Beach one of the top whale watching destinations in the world. 96% viewing success rate!