I have never seen a blue whale, but that will change shortly, and I cannot wait. I wanted to find out the best destinations in North America to see one of them plan accordingly.
Blue whales can be seen in many towns and cities around North America. Blue whales can be seen off the U.S. and Canada coasts from Hawaii to Alaska and from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Nunavut.
If you want to see the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth, please read for the best blue whale-watching destinations in North America.
Where Can Blue Whales Be Seen?
Blue whales are the largest animals that have ever lived on the planet. Blue whales, unlike other species of whales, are not very social. Blue whales are usually spotted alone or in small groups in their natural habitat.
They live in large numbers in the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere, and they can be seen in many areas, including the Gulf of St. Lawrence and some areas of California and Mexico.
Where Can You See Blue Whales In The U.S.?
In the U.S., there are many areas where you can go for blue whale watching. The U.S. has some of the best places to watch blue whales, as does Canada.
Here are some of the top sites in America where blue whales are the main attractions.
Long Island, New York
The best time to visit Long Island for whale watching is between July and early September.
You will have a chance to see many whale species, including the blue whale, North Atlantic right whale, and sei whales. Long Island offers an incredibly diverse set of whale-watching experiences you shouldn’t miss.
Most people don’t think of New York as a whale-watching place, but there are many species in the area. There have been about 25 different species of whales sighted in the area.
Long Island is also one of the best areas where you can watch whales very close to boats, ideal if you are on a whale-watching trip.
Monterey Bay, California
The Blue whale population in California is one of the highest. Scientists estimate that California has about 2,000 individuals, making the state one of the main destinations in North America to watch blue whales.
The main reason blue whales are found in Monterey Bay in large numbers is the high concentration of their main food, krill.
Monterey Bay has some fantastic whale-watching opportunities. There are many tour operators, with many having researchers accompanying you.
These can help identify the individual whales in the area, which they do by experience and the different markings. They will take photos of the dorsal fin and the tail flukes of other species of whales.
The best time to see Blue whales in Monterey Bay is November when they are migrating down to the warmer climates of Baja, California.
San Diego, California
If you want to have an experience of a lifetime, then San Diego has you covered. There are very few places in the world where you can swim with blue whales. San Diego is one of them.
Freediving with blue whales is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, matched by the price. However, you can also snorkel with them, which may be a good option for non-divers.
Please note that the number of people that can swim with these animals is highly regulated to avoid disturbing them.
If you want to stay on a boat, San Diego is a fantastic place to see blue whales. This is the best place to look at the biggest animal and have a chance to come as close to it as possible.
For the best time to visit San Diego to see blue whales, visit the area from July to August.
Depoe Bay, Oregon
If you do not want to plan your trip around whale watching, Depoe Bay is for you. You can visit any time of the year and still have a chance to see blue whales. Depoe Bay is one of the best places to see them, as blue whales in the area do not migrate.
Depoe Bay is a small town in Oregon that has several whale varieties. The whales travel by the coastline in groups, with gray whales migrating between December and January. There are approximately 20,000 gray whales that swim past the bay.
You can plan an afternoon at the whale-watching center, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Staff is on hand to help you look for and identify whales swimming past.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, this site is one of the top ten worlds Blue whale-watching sites.
Most people come here for whale watching between April and October. Researchers and tourists can visit during these times, and a fantastic experience is almost guaranteed.
Whale-watching cruises depart from Cape Cod, making it a good starting spot to explore the area.
Alaska is another beautiful place to watch blue whales and other species. You will likely find Gray and killer whales at any time of the year.
However, if you visit July or August in the Gulf of Alaska’s eastern and northern areas, you may be lucky to spot blue whales.
It is one of the most beautiful groups of islands globally, and Hawaii also has over a dozen whale species, including blue whales. Blue whales migrate to Hawaii in winter, where they can be seen offshore.
Maui is one of the best whale-watching islands, but you are never too far from a fantastic whale-watching tour operator in Hawaii.
Where Can You See Blue Whales In Canada?
Canada has many fantastic places to see a variety of whales. You can pass the time looking for blue whales in many areas. Despite the already discussed locations in the U.S., there are other places for Blue whale watching in Canada.
British Columbia is rich in marine life with an environment for safe, undisturbed whale-watching sites. You can see blue whales, humpbacks, and right whales, among many other species. The best time to visit is October through January. This is the time when the climate is just turning colder.
Blue whales have just returned to British Columbia, so sightings are rare. However, scientists believe that they may be returning to the area.
Gulf of St. Lawrence
Blue whales can be seen in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Blue whales can be seen in the area due to the amount of krill in the water here, and the site is an important feeding ground. Blue whales can be found throughout the Gulf of St. Lawrence and almost year-round in the Lower Estuary.
Blue whales can be found between Baffin Island and Greenland. Other whales that can be seen in the area include narwhals and pods of belugas, so this area is a fantastic place to watch various rare whales. Bowhead whales can also be spotted in the area.
Nova Scotia is a province in Canada that serves as one of the most popular whale-watching destinations. The site features about 12 different species of whales, including the Blue whale.
The best time to visit is during the summer and through to the fall. The awe-inspiring creatures can be easily found in the waters of Cape Breton Island.
Blue whales are amazing animals, and seeing one is a life-affirming moment you will never forget. With this article, I hope you can visit some of these places and meet with the largest animal that has ever lived.
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Bryan Harding is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and a member of the American Birding Association. Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Bryan serves as owner, writer, and publisher of North American Nature.