If you are looking for whale watching in San Diego, you may be wondering if there is a certain time of the year to go. The good news is that you can see whales off the coast of California during any month, as certain whales migrate at different times. If you are looking for something to do during the end of the year and the beginning of next, sign up for a whale watching tour and see many kinds of sea life.
Early Sunset Whale Watching
Being on the west coast, one of the benefits of going whale watching during the winter months is that you can sometimes catch the beginning of the sunset on your way back to shore. Or, if you get back before the sun sets, you can grab a table at one of the many oceanside bars or restaurants and enjoy happy hour while you wait for the sun to go down.
Whale Species Migration Patterns
One of the reasons you can enjoy whale watching in San Diego in January, and any month of the year, is because whales migrate to and from the area during different times of the year. Some migrate to mate and give birth, while others migrate to find food sources. The waters around San Diego have a plethora of food, so it is a popular destination for all types of whales.
Humpback whales typically migrate further distances than other species. During feeding season, they move to the upper or lower hemispheres, and during mating season they move closer to the equator. You can see them off the coast of San Diego during the mid-summer and fall months.
Grey whales migrate to the warmer waters beginning in December, and they typically stay until March or April. Blue whale seasons begins in May, and fin whales begin showing up in July. When whale watching at the end of the year, expect to see humpback and gray whales.
How to Prepare for Your Adventure
Because it is a bit cooler at the end of the year, and you will be on the water, you will want to dress appropriately. Layers are a good choice, as you can take off and put on as you need. Water proof items are also a good idea, as you may experience some splashing. Sunglasses, a camera, and binoculars are also smart to pack.
If you have a four-legged friend, you will be happy to know there is dog friendly whale watching, and your dog can enjoy being out on the water with you. Also, if you tend to get motion sick, you may want to take some meds before boarding the boat.
Although the tour includes water, sodas, and snacks, you are free to bring your own food and beverage on board. Pack a picnic or pick up food from one of the nearby restaurants. You can also bring alcoholic beverages to enhance the afternoon, but make sure to bring plastic cups and to leave the red wine at home, as it is not permitted on the boat. Otherwise, plan to have a great time!