Year-Round Dana Point Harbor Whale Watching
We are often asked, “When is the best time to see whales?” In Dana Point, California, the answer is easy: Whenever you want! Here, the year-round whales include blue whales, fin whales, gray whales, humpback whales, and minke whales.
A Dana Point whale watching tour is one of the best ways to view the largest animal that’s ever lived on earth: the incomparable blue whale. With a heart the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and arteries so large a toddler could crawl through them, blue whales are almost unfathomably large. Lucky for us, blue whales are as gentle as they are sizable. They don’t have teeth. Instead, blue whales filter tiny crustaceans called krill through plates of long baleen that hang from their upper jaw. Blue whales are most likely to be encountered from May through October off of Dana Point Harbor on our whale watching tours.
Blue whales are not the only baleen-toting, filter-feeding whales that inhabit the waters off Dana Point. The second-largest whale in the world, fin whales can be seen from January through December. Although not as splashy as humpback whales, if you’re on a whale watching tour in Dana Point, you’ll be happy to know fin whales can be rather friendly towards boats. You will never forget the moment a 70- to 80-foot fin whale swims alongside your boat, turns on its side, and looks you in the eye. You may be left wondering who is watching who…
Gray whales helped to put Dana Point on the map and cement its status as the DOLPHIN AND WHALE WATCHING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD®. From November through May, gray whales make one of the longest migrations of any mammal, traveling along the western coast of the U.S., past Dana Point on their way to and from Baja California, Mexico. Gray whales are frequently encountered within just a mile or two of the shoreline on a Dana Point Harbor whale watching safari. Sometimes, they’re even right outside of Dana Point Harbor, slipping stealthily past the stand-up paddleboarders. And gray whales are believed to use Dana Point’s headlands as a landmark to help guide them on their long journey.
Humpback whales are sighted off the coast of Dana Point throughout the year. They migrate from their winter breeding grounds near Mexico and Central America to areas off the California coast, including Dana Point, to feed on krill, small fish, and plankton. Easily recognized by their long pectoral flippers and frequent acrobatic surface behaviors, humpback whales have a welcome reputation of acting friendly and curious around boats during Dana Point whale watching tours.
Stinky minke. Dinky minke. Minke whales have several nicknames and are the smallest baleen whale in the waters off Dana Point Harbor. Nevertheless, at lengths of up to 35 feet and weighing in at a hefty 20,000 pounds, minke whales are no tiny animals! Dana Point whale watchers can view minke whales from January through December.
Are you ready to get up-close and personal with amazing mammals on a year-round whale watching tour in Dana Point? Book your Dana Point Harbor whale watching cruise today!