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Where Can You See Blue Whales?

Drone view of two blue whales swimming in front of Captain Dave's whale watching catamaran off the coast of Dana Point, California

Summer is one of the most exciting seasons for Dana Point’s Whale Watching community. Summer means school’s out, and where can you see blue whales is widely dependent on what part of the ocean the krill is served up on the summer menu and most abundant. Warm summer months in Orange County bring out the biggest (and bluest) summer visitors. Blue whale sightings begin as early as May and last all summer long, sometimes even into October. So, invite your family, friends, and neighbors to take a trip of a lifetime and catch a glimpse of the world’s largest animal on earth! Keep reading below to learn why The BEST part of a South Orange County summer is right here in Dana Point, California.


A blue whale’s heart valves are the size of a 9-inch dinner plate!

Where can you see blue whales all summer long? The ocean of course! And right here in Southern California. Upwelling plays a major role in why phytoplankton blooms occur during the summer months. Offshore winds stir up the deeper, colder nutrient-dense waters in ocean trenches below the surface, creating the ideal environment for large, temporary algae blooms responsible for oxygenating the oceans and removing carbon dioxide in our air columns. These lower members on the food chain called krill come in the billions to feast upon the phytoplankton and the largest members on the food chain come to join the fun and eat the krill. Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), hold the record as the world’s largest animals on Earth. Even more impressive is that they are larger than any other animal ever to have roamed the earth and they migrate to Dana Point, California, every summer. Passengers from all over the world join us out to sea and capture the epic moment of seeing them during one of their natural migration seasons. While you’re planning your summer plans in Southern California, don’t forget to book at least one day in Dana Point, where blue whales visit all summer.

If you have searched “where to see whales” on any search engine platform, you will immediately learn why where you can see blue whales is in Dana Point, CA, Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World®. With so many species of whales and dolphins off the coasts of our harbor, Capt. Dave’s is the optimal choice for an increased chance of seeing marine mammals. Blue whale sightings have increased year over year since we began seeing these amazing animals more frequently, starting in 2008. By 2014, this best-kept-secret town made a name for itself beyond being one of the best places to see gray whales all winter, and also became known as having blue whales all summer too!


A blue whale’s tail is the same length as a 707 Boeing jet!

Researching blue whale sightings off the coasts of Southern California is much more exhilarating, knowing you can see one (or two or three or four) when on a safari with Capt. Dave’s! Check out our 5-star reviews and some of the incredible moments our passengers have seeing dolphins underwater in our underwater viewing pods aboard Manute’a. Read about our adventure zodiac-style trips to see if a fast and close-to-the-action trip is what your family and friends may have fun doing. Whether you chose a zodiac, catamaran, or our six-person motor yacht called “ORCA” for your upcoming Capt. Dave’s experience or for your next private charter, we know you and your group will have an unforgettable time and won’t be questioning where can you see blue whales ever again! While you are logging your blue whale sightings in town, be sure to stop at the Dolphin Deck to pick up a commemorative trinket from our store, or grab a bite to eat at one of Dana Point’s many nearby eateries.

When out to sea, the second our captains and crews announce an imminent blue whale sighting to our passengers, they grab their cameras and prepare for a moment that could change their lives forever. If you love whale watching and want to become more involved in research, be sure to check out Happy Whale where you can log your sightings and see if your photos match up to one of the more famous whales to visit our waters. Happy Whale is a great way to extend your passion for marine mammals and learn about other whales who travel to see our part of the world too.


A humpback whale’s tail are as unique as your fingerprint!

Blue whale sightings are rare and will leave you in awe of their miraculous beauty! Capturing the moment when you can see blue whales with a special memento will keep your friends and family remembering your experience for a lifetime. Whether you purchase Capt. Dave’s apparel, handmade ornament, Capt. Dave’s whale magnet, dolphin plush, or jewelry, we have you covered for all of your whale lovers.

Dana Point, California should be at the top of your list if you are a whale watching enthusiast looking to find the best spot to see whales and document the best blue whale sightings. When these magnificent animals grace our waters, it is a sight to be seen and there is nothing more incredible than experiencing that deep exhale as these 90-foot animals swim past our safari tours in the open ocean. Blue whale sightings remind us that we are blessed with an incredibly diverse marine life that thrives in Dana Point.


Blue whales can live up to 110 years.

If you are interested in where you can see blue whales outside of California, we recommend Mirissa, Sri Lanka which is a coastal town in southern Sri Lanka renowned for its blue whale sightings and the best time to visit is between November and April. Are you planning a trip to New Zealand and wondering where you can see blue whales? Kaikoura, on the country’s South Island, is a prime location for whale watching, including the chance to encounter the awe-inspiring blue whale too.

Follow their migration to California when they make their way to our Dana Point, California krill-filled waters. Our Dana Point community celebrates the blue whale sightings season as the onset of summer begins each year. If this travel window doesn’t work for your travel plans, that is okay! Whales are mammals just like us and require air to breathe, which means we have the opportunity to see them at the surface all year long! Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) return to our coastline as early as November when they head down to their breeding grounds in Mexico. Other whale and dolphin visitors we see all year long include humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, Risso’s dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, and more, so book with us today and get ready to have a spectacular time!

Until Next Time,

Jess Wright
Marine Mammal Naturalist & First Mate

Gift an unforgettable dolphin and whale watching experience! With year-round whales, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, and more, any time is a great time for your recipient to enjoy their gift.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods…” – Dr. Thomas Gilovich