Why You Should Plan a Family Whale Watching Trip This Spring

Are you planning a getaway to San Diego this spring? Whether it’s just a quick weekend trip, a staycation, or a week-long spring break, you have plenty to do and see while exploring the natural attractions of sunny California.

One of the best ways to make memories with your family is by booking a whale watching trip. Is spring the best time for San Diego whale watching? Here is everything you need to know about planning a whale-watching trip this time of year.

So Cal Spring Whale Watching

Whale watching in SoCal is a year-round activity, but if you want to see migrating gray whales, December to April is the best time to do it. Gray whales head down south to Baja California to find plentiful food and give birth in winter. After a bit of rest and relaxation, they meander back up to the Bering Sea with the calves at their mothers’ sides.

Whale migration California 2022 is the best time to see gray whales, but other species, including humpbacks, fins, minkes, and pilot whales, enjoy the coastal waters around San Diego all year long. You can also spot other marine wildlife, such as dolphins, harbor seals, sea lions, turtles, and birds.

Sometimes you are fortunate enough to see whales from land, but gray whales stay farther away from shore in spring. The best way to see them is by booking a whale-watching excursion tour or chartering a boat to go out in open waters.

Expectations & Preparations for a Spring Whale Watching Trip

Plan ahead to make the most of your whale watching trip this spring. Check with your tour company to see what whales they have spotted in the days leading up to your tour. Also, follow the weather forecast; while the skies are generally sunny in San Diego, the temperatures tend to be ten degrees cooler away from the shore.

Another thing to keep in mind is that whales may not come as close to the boat as you expect. Keep an eye out for water spouts and flukes breaking the water’s surface to let you know a whale is nearby. Remember, the Pacific Ocean is their natural habitat, not a water park, and whales and dolphins are not there to put on a show.

The best time of day to go whale watching is in the morning, especially if you get seasick easily because there is less wind and calmer waters. Bring along a light jacket, just in case the temperatures drop or rain pops up unexpectedly. Also, wear closed-toed shoes, preferably sneakers with non-slip soles, to keep you from slipping and falling.

Here are other essentials to take along on your whale watching tour:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • Phone charger
  • Camera
  • Snacks and water
  • Money if snacks and beverages are available for purchase onboard
  • Seasickness aids

With a little preparation, you can have the ultimate whale-watching experience with your family this spring. This activity is the highlight of many family vacations. If you are lucky enough to spot these majestic creatures during your tour, you may agree that whale-watching is a must for any spring trip to San Diego.