Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
  • Book now & SAVE 'Whaley' Big!

Whale Watching Laguna Beach

Captain Dave’s Whale Watching holds the distinction of being a Tripadvisor 5-star excursion provider for Dana Point harbor tours. So whether you’re planning a day out with friends, vacationing with family, or looking for a kid-approved birthday party, Laguna Beach whale watching with Captain Dave’s will be an unforgettable experience!

Whale Watching Options with Captain Dave’s Include:

Captain Dave’s tours offer ample, comfortable seats with fewer guests per boat.

In the heart of Orange County, California, there is a small artistic town of just under 25,000 residents serving up one-of-a-kind eateries, beautiful white sand beaches, and some of the most breathtaking views photographers could ask for. Laguna Beach whale-watching is second nature in this part of Orange county. Within a compact 9-square-mile radius, Laguna Beach is a vacation destination for celebrities and locals alike and one place you will not want to miss during your tour of sunny Southern California.

Whale watching in Laguna Beach and spotting dolphins and larger whales from the beach can be daily activities. When strolling along the winding boardwalk, it’s not uncommon to see bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) or gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). Local rooftop lounges are another great place to catch a glimpse of the ocean’s wildlife from the land.

Dana Point Whale Watching Tour

Dolphin and whale watching in Laguna Beach

If you’re looking for the best Laguna Beach whale watching tour, Captain Dave’s 2 ½ hour tours are offered every day of the week on our high-speed catamaran featuring Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. Come experience our most popular tour!

Beaches and Great Areas for Photos

When it comes to incredible beaches, Laguna Beach has many to offer but be sure to extend beach adventures beyond the central shore of Main Beach. Laguna Beach whale watching is excellent for dining at favorite local eateries, soaking in the sun, and finding that perfect picture for your social media account.

1. “Treasure Island” & “1000-Steps Beach”
These beaches offer fantastic sights and live up to their names. After whale watching in Laguna Beach, participate in activities like snorkeling, sun tanning, and exploring local tide pools at these two hot spots and all along Laguna Beach’s picture-perfect coastline. Treasure Island is a perfect area to bring your snorkel mask and fins and explore the underwater world below.

2. Aliso Creek Beach
This beach is close to our hearts. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center, located just off the 133 in Laguna Beach, specializes in rehabilitating pinnipeds of all types. Aliso Creek beach is one of their central locations for re-releasing members of the pinnipeds family (primarily seals and sea lions) who have been nourished back to good health and are ready to return to the wild. The outdoor play area at this beach is another fantastic attribute and creates hours of fun for all ages. This beach is the perfect fun spot for your little ones too!

3. Pirate Tower (also known as “La Tour”) at Victoria Beach
This Laguna Beach landmark location at Victoria Beach has a 60-foot castle-inspired tower made from poured concrete, an ocean stone foundation, and a cone-shaped roof of shingles. Several narrow window openings in the tower wall allow light to pass through the thin wooden spiral stairway inside the tower. The water collecting pool is located on the north side of Victoria Beach, making this little hot spot one of the most photogenic places to visit. Victoria Beach’s soft sand below is the perfect photogenic spot for a picnic at an iconic Laguna Beach location.

Laguna Beach whale watching sometimes happens from land. A great option for those wondering if they could see whales from shore! Gentle gray whale giants swim by the South Orange County coastline yearly. Gray whale season begins around November as these whales make their way to the warm waters in Mexico. Visitors and locals alike can see these gentle giants through early May when they travel up our coastlines again as they return to the arctic waters of the Chukchi and Bering Seas near Alaska.

Zodiac-Style Dolphin & Whale Watching

Laguna Beach dolphin and whale watching
On our Zodiac-style boat, you’ll be within arm’s reach of some of the most incredible ocean wildlife on the planet! If you’ve avoided whale watching tours in the past because of concerns about motion sickness, our heavily padded seats and seat backs will make you feel very comfortable.

Must Try Attractions

Whale Watching

Topping our list of fun things to do in the Whale Watching Capital of the World® is whale watching with Capt. Dave’s. Our safe and friendly Laguna Beach whale watching tours will give you and your guests the opportunity of a lifetime. With summer months filling our oceans with astounding wildlife, including some of the largest animals ever to breathe air on earth, this is an activity your whole family will enjoy. Balaenoptera musculus, better known as the blue whale, is larger than the dinosaurs who roamed the earth. In some parts of the world, they have grown to lengths of 100 feet or more, but the blue whales we see in Southern California most commonly reaches lengths of 80-90 feet. Whale watching in Laguna Beach is the chance to see other large baleen whales, known as the great rorquals, who grace our water all year. These whales include fin whales, humpback whales, Bryde’s whales, minke whales, and sei whales.

Home to the largest animal in the world and nearly ½ million dolphins, Laguna Beach whale watching is one of the best ways to spend the day in Orange County, CA. Whether on vacation or you live nearby, a day out on the water connecting with the open ocean creates the perfect environment to let all your worries drift away. Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), Bryde’s (Balaenoptera brydei), and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) visit us all year long. The abundance of food from nutrient-dense waters packs our waters with the world’s gentle giants, making Laguna Beach whale watching a “must try” activity. Your five-star dolphin and whale watching safari with Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari is only a short drive from downtown Laguna Beach on Pacific Coast Highway.

Absorb all of the Art

Whale watching in Laguna Beach inspires artistry, and there is no shortage of artistry in this bustling artistic town. Each year artistry of all mediums comes together to create an unforgettable journey through specific art themes. Each year in July (through September), the world-famous Festival of the Arts and Pageant of the Masters Festival returns. Laguna Beach whale watching-inspired artists have grown the art community. Laguna Beach is predominantly known for hosting one of the top art festivals in the nation. There is nothing like this show! Over 100 Orange County artists come together to recreate famous works of art that come to life in living pictures right before your eyes under a star-lit amphitheater. Professional orchestras playing original scores surround the theatre as recreations of classical and contemporary works of art are displayed using real people to look just like the original pieces. Intricate and inspired, this is an artist’s dream. If you are in Laguna Beach whale-watching, the Pagent of the Masters is an exhibit that is one of a kind! Visit the Pagent of the Master’s website for ticket showtime information.

Visit the Pacific Marine Mammal Center

If you are visiting Orange County for some fun whale watching Laguna Beach and want more ocean-friendly fun things to do then visit the Pacific Marine Mammal Center located on the 133 highway in Laguna Beach. Known by locals as the PMMC, this rehabilitation center is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. The PMMC is run primarily by volunteers who will greet you inside the visitor welcoming yard and introduce you to their California sea lions, Northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, or Northern fur seal patients. The visitor yard features interactive displays, marine mammal artifacts, and our Treasure Trove gift shop. There is no charge for admission, but donations are appreciated! PMMC also offers educational programs for all ages. Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari is proud to have a few of their volunteers on our staff too!

Fully Private Dana Point Harbor Tours with Captain Provided!

Whale watching in Laguna Beach, California

All six of Captain Dave’s boats are available for private tours from Dana Point. We offer stylish motor yachts, fast Zodiac-style boats, a catamaran sailboat with two underwater viewing pods, and more!

Food, Food, and More Food!

Nick’s & South of Nicks 

Located in the heart of Laguna Beach, open daily from 11 am – 10 pm weekly and early for weekend brunch, Nick’s restaurants set the standard for excellence. From crispy buttermilk chicken to one of the best quinoa and kale salads we have ever eaten, Nick’s is the perfect place to stop and reflect on the unique connection you are making with the ocean. Laguna Beach whale watching can work up an appetite. Nick’s is so delicious they created a second restaurant dedicated to only serving up fresh, clean, and fabulous tasting Mexican dishes.

Nick’s Laguna Beach
440 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 367-8595

South of Nick’s is just as delicious as Nick’s!

Looking for a place to bring your family after whale watching in Laguna Beach? Reserve your seat for a romantic night out, or sit outside and watch the people as they pass by Laguna’s hustling beach town. This family of brands provides excellent service, serving the highest quality food, and superb service is their motto. Our favorite is the slow-cooked made, in-house carnitas platter…delicious! Be sure to ask your server about the secret ingredients South of Nick’s uses to tender their meat too! This is the perfect spot for your pre (or post) Laguna Beach whale watching trip.

South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen
540 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-3717

The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove
15 Crystal Cove
Newport Coast, CA 92657
(949) 376-6900

Your vacation filled with whale watching in Laguna Beach is bound to be out of this world with a delectable stopover in Crystal Cove! This award-winning vintage beachy cottage spot is known for the best sandy feet casual dining experience with great food. Famous for breakfast just as much as it is loved for lunch and dinner, this locals hot spot is a “must-try.” Located in the famous Crystal Cove area, this serene setting will allow your worries to drift away with the sound of the ocean waves crashing right in front of you. Rent a beach chair, breathe in the fresh ocean air before or after your Laguna Beach whale watching adventure, and be amazed by the panoramic views of the Laguna Beach sunrise through sunset.

Rooftop Lounge
1289 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach , 92651
(949) 497-2446

If being out on the ocean on a Laguna Beach whale watching trip didn’t satisfy your hunger for spectacular ocean views, then the Rooftop Lounge on the top floor of the La Casa del Camino hotel is the place to go. Indulge in one of the best happy hours in town, with signature fresh fruit Mojitos and one truly amazing panoramic ocean view while sampling small bites and California casual cuisine. Their stellar drinks and delicious appetizer menu isn’t the only thing being served up fresh at this downtown Laguna Beach location. The breathtaking clifftop views at the Rooftop Lounge are a great place to continue whale watching in Laguna Beach too! It’s not uncommon to see coastal bottlenose dolphins hit the high surf daily in this area. And if you are visiting during gray or blue whale season, you may even spot a spout from their open-air window deck!

Gelato Paradiso
448 South Coast Hwy, Ste A
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 464-9255

Taking a Laguna Beach whale watching tour wouldn’t be complete without stopping in the heart of Laguna Beach’s shopping district. From the moment the smell of fresh waffle cones fills the air, you will find yourself lured inside this tucked away downtown alley local sweet spot. Pick your favorite flavor or try something new from their rotating seasonal menu. All gelato and sorbet flavors are created using traditional and authentic Italian methods, ingredients, and traditions; Gelato Paradiso wins us over every time. The lines at Gelato Paradiso can be long, but this place is worth the wait! Be prepared before you arrive and know that whether you book a Laguna Beach whale watching trip in the morning or the afternoon, you are not the only one with this sweet secret idea in mind.

Carmelitas
217 Broadway St.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-7829

Serving fresh culinary roots from Puebla & Guadalajara, Carmelita’s has something the whole family can enjoy after working up an appetite to see so many dolphins and whales during a Laguna Beach whale watching trip of a lifetime with Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari. Located in the heart of Laguna Beach, this local favorite has a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Their open kitchen allows guests to observe the tradition & technique crafted into each dish and is fun for the kids. At Carmelita’s, the mixologists always use organic ingredients for their house-made margaritas. The chefs at Carmelita’s also care about the environment and are careful to choose “Wild” fish and Prime Meat & Poultry to cook up your favorite dish.

Why Choose Captain Dave’s for Whale Watching in Laguna Beach?

The Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World® is at Dana Point, and when you book a tour with Captain Dave’s Whale Watching, sightings are guaranteed! Contact us today for tickets and get ready for a Laguna Beach whale watching adventure you’ll cherish for a lifetime!

  • Book Now & Save 22%
  • Most Popular
From $89 $69.42

If you’re looking for whale watching near Dana Point, we guarantee you’ve never experienced anything like this. Our exclusive underwater glass viewing pods put you face to face with some of the largest creatures on earth! Book your seat today!