Most will agree that gray whales are one of life's most incredible spectacles! Whether you're visiting California or are fortunate enough to live here, Mother Nature provides us with the wonderful opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures from January through April. During this time, about 20,000 gray whales migrate along the California coast, traveling northward and southward to their destination at the Baja Lagoons in California, where they will mate and calve.
Therefore, we have provided some great spots to witness this unforgettable spectacle! Along with some fun facts about gray whales for yourself and your little ones so you can genuinely appreciate one of life's most wondrous creations!
Fun facts about gray whales:
Newborn calves: average 16 feet long and, at birth, can weigh around 1,100 pounds!
Male: average 43 feet long!
Female: can grow up to 49 feet long and weigh approximately 90,000 pounds!
Life Span: 50-60 years
Diet: Little crabs, worms, small fish
Nickname: Devil Fish, due to their aggressive reaction when harpooned.
Find more exciting facts about gray whales here!
To view fun facts for kids, click here!
Best spots to whale watch:
Mendocino, a small town in northern California, offers beautiful views with a chance to see gray whales spouting, breaching, and diving as they journey south. The high cliff sides along the coast make Mendocino a top spot for viewing whales! Consider going to Point Arena Lighthouse or Mendocino State Park for fantastic viewpoints. Also, if you want to get up close and personal, they have boat tours to get those photos you've always dreamed of! To find more information, click here.
If you find yourself in the San Francisco area, you are in for a whale-watching treat! Gray whales, Sperm whales, and Orcas have been spotted migrating through the San Francisco coast! A top spot to view these swimming giants would have to be the Point Reyes National Seashore. This spot has been reported to have 94 percent of the Pacific gray whales pass within one mile of it! You can find more information and other whale-watching options here!
Let's head south and enjoy the boating pleasures and services Newport Beach has to offer! With knowledgeable guides to answer all your burning whale-related questions, you can also look forward to obtaining some great photos of whales, different bird species, dolphins, and seals!
Of course, remember to pack your sunscreen, a blanket, and some good shoes with traction to make this boat ride even more enjoyable!
Click here to view some of Newport Beach's whale-watching boat tour options.
According to the Birch Aquarium in San Diego, gray whales generally travel alone or in two or three pods. However, more may be seen traveling together during peak migration season. San Diego offers 70 miles of coastline directly in the migration path, marking San Diego as an ideal spot to enjoy these gentle giants. A couple of must-go spots to view the gray whales from shore include the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, Cabrillo National Monument, and Torrey Pines State Reserve. Click here to view more info and start planning your whale-watching excitement.