Where To Watch Whales In North America


Whale watching has become one of the most loved tourist attractions that North America has to offer. There is nothing better than seeing a living creature so large that you can hardly comprehend it.

Whales are some of the largest, most gentle creatures on the planet. Their unique behaviors make them a favorite among sea creatures and has led to a substantial increase in whale watching globally.

For those in North America, here are some of the best whale-watching destinations to have a fantastic whale watching experience.

If you want to know which whales you can see in North America, I have written an article which you can find here.

Whale

California

California is known for its beautiful beaches, and it is here that you can have splendid front row seats to watch whales. In California, it is possible to spot them from the shore.

Big Sur, California

Whales migrate in great numbers pass the Californian coast every year. When they migrate, many people watch them from the beaches.

The migration starts from mid-December and lasts until mid-April. Their migratory pattern from Alaska to Mexico and back again is spurred on by the mating season, and it’s this time of year that they are most visible along the Californian coast.

Whale

The species of whales that can be spotted here include Californian grey whales, humpback whales, finback whales, blue whales, and killer whales.

A popular whale-watching spot is San Francisco, not only famous for the Golden gate bridge, but also for the incredible number of whales that pass by, especially in January.

From such a high position at the top of Point Reyes, it is possible to see a huge number of whales on their yearly travel.

It is also possible to see them a few miles away at the beach of Half Moon Bay, which provides another good place to spot them.

Another whale-watching spot in California is the Channel Islands, with its picturesque rocky landscape and plenty to offer in the way of whale watching.

In addition to whales, the Channel Islands also promises dolphins and porpoises, although whales are spotted more frequently than these.

Monterey Bay is also a much-visited whale watching spot located south of San Francisco. Monterey Bay has Santa Cruz situated to the north side, and due to being the middle of such high-scale cities, it is frequently full of crowds.

California

Whale watching is popular here as the tours are usually led by marine biologists who are happy to provide information on the whales and make the experience extra special.

Another great whale watching destination in Calfornia is Orange County, offering several places from which whale watching is possible.

These include the Newport Harbor and Dana Point, both excellent whale watching areas. Orange County also offers whale-watching cruises to those interested in a closer whale watching experience.

Whale

California is also famous for the exceptional quality of whale watching it offers in San Diego. Between mid-June and the end of September are the peak times to visit San Diego for whale watching, especially to catch sight of blue whales and fin whales.

At these times, these species head across the Californian coast in search of an abundant food source.

Several spots on the Californian coast are particularly well-known for their sightings of whales, one of which is La Jolla in San Diego. Although most of San Diego is well known for its whale watching history, La Jolla is one of the most renowned.

For more information on whale watching in San Diego, I have written a post which you can find here.

Whale

With its rocky beaches and an uneven landscape, it provides the perfect vantage point to spot whales. In addition to this, there are plenty of whale-watching cruises that take you up close and personal with the whales.

Specific places in La Jolla, like the Whale Overlook, are great spots to whale watch if you prefer to stay on land.

Alaska

Alaska is known as the Land of the Midnight Sun and is home to some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Alaska also has plenty of wildlife and sea life to go with the beautiful scenery.

Whales are one of the most popular sea creatures found here and can be seen in another of their great migrations from April until the end of May. During this time, they move northwards towards the Arctic Ocean to reach a better supply of food.

Whale

They pass through many Alaskan water bodies and can be seen from various areas in Alaska. Alaska offers the opportunity to watch many species of whales, including humpback whales, belugas, killer whales, minke whales, and blue whales. Other times whale watching is possible in Alaska is from June to August.

Juneau is one of the nicest places and has some of the best whale watching tours. Juneau is an ideal whale watching town, with access to many areas around.

Juneau

Whale-watching is accompanied by information given in guided tours, and visitors can also witness the rare behavior of humpback whales known as bubble net feeding.

This is a feeding behavior of humpback whales that involves trapping their prey of fish in bubbles. They use bubbles to trap the fish before devouring them in a perfectly coordinated movement.

Another great place to watch whales in Alaska is Seward. Here, whales can be seen almost all year round, in addition to the higher number of whales than can be seen in the migratory season.

Whale

Seward is commonly known as the entrance to the Kenai Fjords National Park and is a relatively small city situated in southern Alaska.

Seward is a widely known whale habitat, and this makes it the ideal place to visit for some serious whale watching. Seward offers plenty of whales watching cruises to allow you to take the perfect pictures of these incredible sea creatures.

Ketchikan

Ketchikan is another area in Alaska that is famed for its whale watching cruises, being a city facing the southeastern coast of Alaska, and a passageway to one of the many cruises available.

Ketchikan is one of my favorite places on Earth, and a place I have been many, many times. Ketchikan is not only teeming with wildlife that attracts a large number of tourists every year but also has a breathtaking landscape that makes whale watching here even better.

Whale

Ketchikan whale watching cruises are famous for their informative rides full of careful maneuvering in the sea and those onboard being prepared for any weather changes, making it a safe yet enjoyable whale watching trip.

If you go to Ketchikan, make sure to stop off at Ketchikandies. It is the best chocolate shop that I have ever found on my trips anywhere.

Vancouver Island

I was lucky to live in Vancouver for a while, and Vancouver Island was only a short journey away. Vancouver Island is a picture-perfect place with its rustic shops and boat lined harbor paired with its lack of harsh weather changes.

Vancouver Island

The agreeable weather often makes Vancouver Island an ideal picnic spot, and due to the high visibility this climate provides, whale watching has now become popular.

Whale

The peak times for whale watching fall between May and October, where it is possible to see more killer whales than other species of whales migrating towards a better food source.

Orcas can be seen all year round, as Vancouver Island happens to be a whale habitat. Other species of whales that can be spotted include Pacific gray whales, which can be seen, especially from March to mid-April, minke whales, and humpback whales.

Orcas are especially popular in Vancouver Island as is one of the top places in the world that orcas are studied for research purposes in the wild.

Whale

Various companies all around Vancouver Island provide quality whale watching cruises, making whale watching available to all.

One of the places in Vancouver Island popular for whale watching in Victoria, which offers a range of cruises to choose from and remains the most in-demand spot to watch whales.

Certain spots in Victoria are especially well known, like Phillip Island. The island can be found a few miles off the coast of Vancouver Island.

Whale

Phillip Island is especially famous for its sighting of humpback whales that travel towards the island in preference of warmer water, although the other types of whales may also be spotted.

Some other places where it is easy to spot whales include Portland and Warrnambool. Situated on the southwest coast of Victoria, Portland and Warrnambool are where southern right whales give birth and look after their young for a time.

Luckily for visitors, they usually venture relatively close to the shore, allowing for a good whale watching experience.

Oregon

Known for its mesmerising scenery and successful wine industry, Oregon is situated in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Luckily for whale watchers, Oregon is a largely coastal state.

Cannon Beach

The coast of Oregon is famous as a tourist attraction for the various activities it provides. These include hiking and camping, although whale watching has a place of its own in terms of popularity.

The Oregon Coast is stated as one of the seven wonders of Oregon, and with good reason. There are many species of whales, porpoises, and dolphins to be spotted along this coast. There are up to ten species and are usually seen all year round.

Whale

Blue whales, in particular, can be seen further out to sea where there are generally colder waters, while humpback whales can be spotted closer to the shore. Oregon also is a good spot to see minke whales, and among many other marine mammals, orcas make a rare appearance.

Gray whales, however, are the star of the show and are the most spotted species during whale watching. Gray whales are plentiful in the area all year round and can be spotted easily.

Oregon conducts a special program each year to officially begin the holidaymakers’ period of whale watching.

Oregon Coast

They call the program ‘Whale Watch week,’ and it starts mid-December every year, the usual time of vacation for people. Lasting two weeks from mid-December, Whale Watch week is a truly unique experience and is the perfect time to go whale watching in Oregon.

Oregon has specific areas teeming with whales, and one of these is Depoe Bay, usually considered the best place in Oregon to go whale watching.

Whale

Depoe Bay is the main area where grey whales are found throughout the year due to their feeding habits, and there is an abundant source of food in the waters around the bay.

Cape Lookout State Park is another excellent whale watching spot that comes close behind Depoe bay in terms of giving the most successful whale watching experience.

Situated in a higher altitude that needs considerable hiking to get to, Cape Lookout State Park is a largely reclusive area surrounded by forests and facing the open sea.

Whale

It provides the perfect backdrop to the place where the magic of whale watching happens, and its cliff face structure provides an even better view than from the shore.

Cape Lookout is found a few miles west of the city of Portland and doesn’t require a cruise tour to whale watch as it juts out into the sea and is ideal for whale watching.

Baja California

Acting as the bordering state of California, Baja California is a Mexican state best known for its delightful beaches and its whale watching.

whale tail

Most popular for its abundant sightings of gray whales, Baja California is one of the top places in the world to see the massive number of gray whales that travel here every year for the mating season.

The gray whales here also differ in their approach to humans. Gray whales in Baja California are generally more playful and inquisitive, usually swimming closer to boats on tour.

This may be because they are comfortable in the safe environment provided by the sheltered lagoons of Baja. Baja California offers one of the most personal experiences with whales in the world and makes the trip to Baja worth it.

Baja California

Other species of whales that can be spotted here are humpback whales and blue whales. If interested in sighting a blue whale, your best bet is in Baja, due to it being the home of the largest blue whale population in the world.

One in three blue whales on the planet is found off the coasts of Baja, California, making the area a hotspot.

whale tail

The best months to go whale watching in Baja California is from the beginning of February to the end of April, which is the gray whales mating season. At this time, there is the highest chance of seeing them in Baja.

Baja California is largely regarded as the best place by most who have experienced whale watching there. The relaxing atmosphere and possibility to get up close with the whales is a highly desirable prospect to many whale watchers.

killer whale

The whale watching experience in Baja California only gets better. The glass-bottomed boats that cruises offer allow sightings of whales and other marine life through the bottom of the boat.

In addition to this, there are fewer cruise boats around this region due to the natives of Baja. The locals want to keep Baja California as intact as it was before the tourism industry’s success.

Therefore, it usually feels to those on a cruise as if they are the only ones around, providing peace and calm that is arguably not achievable anywhere else.

Eastern Seaboard

The Eastern Seaboard is also known as the Atlantic Seaboard and is located on the eastern side of the United States. The coast acts as the bordering coastline that separates the Eastern U.S from the Atlantic Ocean.

As it is a frontier that is associated with the sea, the Eastern Seaboard has sightings of whales and has become a popular whale-watching site.

A high number of whale species can commonly be observed here, including humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales, killer whales, Southern right whales, North Atlantic right whales, right whales, and sei whales.

The best times to watch whale along the eastern Seaboard are from March to April when the humpback whales migrate to find better food sources for the summer. Also, from April to November, it is possible to observe other species of whales either feeding or passing through Atlantic waters during migration.

Gray whale

A total of fifteen states are situated along the East Coast, including Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

Of these, New York is a reputed whale watching spot and boasts many whale watching cruises and whale watching spots to visit. New York used to be a famous spot among whalers, and hundreds of whales were killed each year until recently when laws were put in place to protect them.

New York, the big apple, is home to a range of different species, including the rare sei whale that can only be seen in a few places worldwide.

New York City

New York has increased its whale population since it dropped. The state now possesses a booming whale watching industry that offers quality whale watching cruises to eager tourists.

For more information on whale watching in New York, I have written an article which you can find here.

North Carolina, another of the States along the Eastern Seaboard, is known for its prolific beaches and parks. Whale watching here doesn’t require a cruise tour as the beaches allow high visibility and plenty of spacious areas to picnic while looking out for whales.

Although not with as many whale sightings as New York, North Carolina offers decent whale sightings topped off with the sightings of dolphins.

New England

New England is a region in the northeastern area of the United States consisting of six states: Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Best known for Cape Cod, New England is best described as a somewhat quiet area, although the bustling city of Boston is definitely an exception.

Maine is the most famous out of the six states for its whale watching areas, although Rhode Island is a close second, while Connecticut fares well for its coastal structure.

The whale watching in New England is not as much a tourist attraction as is elsewhere, although it should be to be due to its calm beaches and desirably high vantage points from which to observe whales.

Portland Head Lighthouse

Humpback whales, minke whales, fin whales, pilot whales, sei whales, sperm whales, and North Atlantic right whales are all seen along with the New England coastal areas. Many other marine mammals can also be seen in the area.

The best time to travel to New England for whale watching is from May to October; this can also be combined with puffin watching, which happens between June and August for those who are interested.

Maine is a desirable whale watching area, being known for its rocky coastline and its deep, nautical history.

gray whale

Maine possesses one of the largest coastline areas, including the perimeter of its many islands. This makes Maine a spacious spot to have a satisfying whale watching experience.

The coastal town of Bar Harbor in Maine is reputed for its whale watching cruises, which boasts the biggest whale-watching watercraft in the whole of North America.

Massachusetts is one of the more famous whale watching sites globally and has even been stated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to be one of the best whale watching places in the world.

Bar Harbor

Being the most populated area in the whole of New England, Massachusetts is home to the famous Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.

This makes the area the perfect holiday destination with its teeming sea life and land attractions. Specifically, the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, situated between Cape Cod and Cape Ann, is a protected Maine wildlife zone that attracts a vast number of tourists every year and is an ideal whale-watching spot.

Whale calf feeding

Bay of Fundy

Deserving a place all of its own in the list of top places in North America for whale watching, the Bay of Fundy is a natural wonder.

It has been stated as one of the seven wonders of North America and possesses some of the rarest semi-precious metals in the world, along with having an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils.

Bay of Fundy

The tidal extremities observed in the Bay of Fundy further add to its reputation as a natural phenomenon, while the whales that can be observed there only make it better.

The unique pattern of tides in the Bay of Fundy allows a range of whale species, in addition to sea birds and other marine life to inhabit this area quite frequently.

whale tail

The cliff structures and amazing cruise tours on offer make the experience all the more satisfying, as it is possible to spot whales either from one of the cliff faces or on one of the whale watching cruises.

Not only that, but the homely feeling that emanates from the inns provided make the Bay of Fundy a great holiday destination.

The whales that can be observed here include humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, sei whales, pilot whales, and North Atlantic right whales, only a few of the twelve species of whales that can be spotted on the Bay of Fundy.

Whale

The rarer species of whales that can be sighted here include the blue whale, beluga whale, sperm whale, and killer whale (orca).

The Bay of Fundy is most preferred by humpback whales and minke whales, which frequently give birth to their young in this bay and is one of the first whale species to return to the bay after the migration that takes place before the end of spring.

Humpbacks and minkes are also partial to the bay due to its abundance in food and how it is naturally sheltered with its cliff structures all around the bay.

The peak seasonal period for ideal whale watching is between June and October when all the whale species that inhabit the bay return from their annual migration.

whale tail

The humpbacks are first to arrive in June, then come to the North Atlantic right whales, closely followed by the rest of them and other sea creatures that migrate, such as the White-sided dolphins.

The Gully

Commonly known as The Gully, The Gully MPA (Marine Protected Area) is a naturally formed canyon that exists underwater and was formed gradually as a result of glaciers melting thousands of years ago.

It has been considered the largest canyon found underwater in the whole of North America, setting a record spanning 65 kilometers in length and 15 kilometers in width.

It is situated 125 miles from Nova Scotia in Canada and is currently being used for extensive sustainable research. The Gully is now a strictly protected marine ecosystem full of exotic sea creatures, some of which are rare and can be seen in few other places globally, for example, the Northern bottlenose whales.

Northern bottlenose whales have originated from the Gully, and therefore, their resident population is found there; these are extremely rare and can’t be found in many whale watching areas around the world.

gray whale

One of the other types of whales that can be found here is blue whales, which have been discovered by scientists through monitoring devices to inhabit The Gully during summer and winter periods.

In addition to this, there have been reports of 14 other species of whales inhabiting this underwater ecosystem, including humpbacks, sperm whales and long-finned pilot whales.

killer whale

The Gully has had a booming whale watching industry ever since the commercial hunting of Northern bottlenose whales was prohibited, and their populations were restored.

Visitors are usually drawn to The Gully all-year-round, given that its population of Northern bottlenose is a constant due to their numbers being critically low and them having an ideal habitat only in The Gully.

The reason for The Gully’s rich sea life is due to the currents that move in its direction and bring water loaded with nutrients in it.

This attracts the animals that have since begun to make The Gully their home. This makes it one of the best places to go on a whale-watching adventure, with many making a holiday of it.

gray whale

Newfoundland

Newfoundland is an island based on the eastern side of Canada. It is best known for its archeological attractions, including the community of the explorer Leif Erikson, who was a Viking.

Besides this, however, Newfoundland is also one of the most beautiful natural attractions, including waterfalls, fjords, and cliffs. The natural structure of the island and the cold waters that surround it most of the year make it a frequent habitat for whales.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador are renowned for having sighted the greatest number of humpback whales every season due to their migratory patterns and because of the nutrient-rich waters found there.

Apart from humpback waves, it is also possible to observe killer whales, sperm whales, long-finned pilot whales (also known as pothead whales), minke whales, and blue whales. Apart from this, various species of dolphins can also be seen, along with porpoises.

The best time to travel to Newfoundland for whale watching falls from May and lasts until September when some species start their migration towards warmer climates.

The Newfoundland cruise tours don’t just offer boat rides but also sea kayak tours that make the whale watching experience all the more personal and memorable.

If staying on land is preferred, it is still possible to view as many whales as when on a cruise.

All along the coastline are wonderful spots that promise a successful wave watching experience, although certain areas like Signal Hill, Cape Spear, Witless Bay and Strait of Bell Isle are the best. These are ideal spots to whale watch, as are many cliff faces and seaside trails along the beach area.

The whale watching tours offered also introduce puffin watching and bird watching alongside watching whales, and this makes the Newfoundland rise tours a total package of entertaining cruises.

Newfoundland is also one of the only places where the whale watching cruise comes with the added bonus of an iceberg tour in the winter.

Hudson Bay

Hudson Bay is a bay that is connected to both the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic from the north, and the Atlantic from the east.

This bay has various river channels flowing into it, some of them including the Kazan, Thelon, Nelson, Churchill, Attawapiskat, and Koksoak rivers. It possesses a few islands on its eastern side, namely the Sleepers, Ottawa, Belcher, and Nastapoka groups.

Gray whale

The east coastal area of the bay possesses a great structure to watch whales from due to its naturally occurring cliff edges hat look out onto the sea.

The climatic conditions in the Hudson Bay are usually very cold, and the sea below is mostly frozen over in certain parts of the year due to cold winds that blow ice in the direction of the bay from the rivers that flow into it.

The bay is full of sea life that is frequently found feeding in and around the bay due to its abundance in food and nutrients.

Hudson Bay

Killer whales are found more than the other whale species and are found to live far up the north side of the bay. Beluga whales are also found in huge numbers, almost more than anywhere else on the planet, and are nicknamed ‘sea canaries’ because of their collective chips and clicks that allow them to find their way.

Beluga whales live in the warmer waters of Hudson Bay in the southern region, as opposed to the killer whales. Belugas are also seen closer to the shore than other species of whale due to their natural curiosity and breathing pattern, which takes them up to breathe every few minutes.

In addition to whales and other sea life, Hudson Bay is also the home of polar bears that roam towards the northern region of the bay.

Gray whale

The bay offers a range of tours and the ultimately rewarding experience of swimming with the beluga whales.

Due to their gentle nature and readiness to interact with humans, beluga whale swimming trips are both safe and adventurous, allowing an experience of whale watching that you can’t get elsewhere.

The best whale watching months in Hudson Bay are between June and September before the belugas travel north towards colder waters.

Nunavut

Being situated on the far northern side of Canada, Nunavut is a less well-known area for whale watching.

The area is most famous for the handicraft of its native Inuits, who are a self-sufficient community of hunters that live in such specific regions as Nunavut.

Nunavut

Apart from the Inuit population, Nunavut is not highly populated and is home to a very small number of people. This is due to its climate, which is often below freezing and does not support many animals or plant life.

The landscape is largely made up of rocky areas and ice, with plenty of steep mountains and little villages that can only be reached by boat or aircraft.

Beluga

The whale watching months in Nunavut fall between May to September, when the weather is relatively mild enough to allow whale watching to take place.

Nunavut is, at first glance, not really that suitable for any kind of life to even survive, let alone thrive.

However, on closer observation, it is apparent that Nunavut does house a number of different flora and fauna.

Gray whale

The period from May to September is warm enough for some of the ice to thaw, revealing rocky roads instead of ice-covered land, and this leads to the shores of Nunavut, which are mainly comprised of craggy, rocky ground.

The tours offered by the Nunavut whale watching cruises allow sightings of beluga whales, orcas, bowhead whales, and narwhals.

Most bowhead whales are only spotted in the Nunavut region, and this makes Nunavut famous for its bowhead sightings. Nunavut cruises also include polar bear sightings during peak season so that visitors can make their trip even better.

Bowhead whale

Whales are usually visible only on the northern end of the shore, although there may be rare sightings of beluga whales on the southern end, close to one of the openings of Hudson Bay.

Narwhals, belugas, and bowhead whales are some of the rarest whale species to be observed anywhere in the world and, luckily, for tourists; they reside in the Arctic waters surrounding Nunavut all year round.

This makes any time a good time to visit, except in early June, when the visibility is relatively low due to the fog settling down in the area at the time.

Pribilof Islands

Pribilof island comprises a group of four different islands that are situated north of Alaska. The Pribilof Islands are volcanic islands that are also called the Fur Seal Islands.

They were originally formed by lava eruptions and have since become islands with rich plant life supported by the fertile, volcanic soil.

Gray whale

Pribilof islands deserve a place on the list as they hold some of the best landscapes and ideal whale watching regions in the world.

The island is home to many different kinds of wildlife and sea life, the most prolific of these being seals, after which the island is also named.

Apart from its large number of fur seals, Pribilof Islands are also home to many species of whales. This includes humpback whales, grey whales, killer whales, beluga whales, mike whales, and fin whales.

Of these, the killer whales are resident whales, meaning they are available to be seen at any time of the year. The other whale species, however, go on an early migration that brings them back by the end of April.

The peak whale watching season in the Pribilof Islands coincides with that of Alaska, falling from June to August.

Aleutian Islands

Similar to the Pribilof Islands in terms of geographical proximity and climatic conditions is the Aleutian Islands.

Aleutian Islands

The Aleutian Islands are also known as the Aleut islands and are situated near Alaska, and relatively close to the Pribilof Islands. These islands consist of 14 volcanic islands in a chain pattern joined by up to 55 smaller islands.

Some of the Aleutian Islands are considered part of Alaska, while some belong to Kamchatka Krai, a territory in Russia.

Whale

The Aleutian Islands, similar to the Pribilof Islands, are secluded and sparsely populated, making them feel exotic and set the scene for a unique whale watching experience.

Whale watching cruise tours from various companies are offered to tourists and take an informative cruise across Alaskan waters and back.

The most well known islands of the Aleutian Islands include the Unalaska Island and the Unimak Island, the latter of which is the largest island of all the Aleutian Islands.

Aleutian Islands

Washington

The State of Washington has many whale watching activities. Not only famous for Mount St. Helens and the beautiful constructed national parks, but Washington is also famous for its whales.

In fact, its official marine mammal is the killer whale. The whales that can be seen in Washington include these along with gray whales, minke whales, short-finned pilot whales, North Pacific sperm whales, fin whales, sperm whales, and blue whales.

Sperm whale

Killer whales are found in especially large numbers. Gray whales are sighted on the two migrations that take them across Washington’s waters. The peak season to watch whales usually falls from March to May, although if gray whales are a specific preference, mid-January is a good alternative.

In the city of Seattle, whale watching is a huge industry and attracts tourists every day. Seattle also offers some of the best whale-watching cruise tours to those interested in watching a whale out at sea rather than on land where they are also visible.

Seattle

Seattle is not only the largest city in Washington, boasting the home of both Amazon and Microsoft headquarters, but is also in touch with nature. This is obvious by the abundant whale watching tours that seem to be the main tourist attraction.

Being a city with a seaside, Seattle has the best of both worlds and offers various themed whale watching tours, paired with watching dolphins and other marine mammals.

If you want to know where you can watch whales in San Juan Islands and Puget Sound you can find out in an article which I have written here.

In addition to Seattle, the Strait of Juan de Fuca is also a must-visit when it comes to whale watching. The tours provided by those at Juan de Fuca allow tourists to get closer to a killer whale than ever before.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca is a water body situated at the center of the international boundary between Canada and the United States. The Strait’s guided tours not only allow whale sightings, but they also allow the observer to spot sea lions and do some bird watching.

Specific areas along the Strait provide a higher rate of whale sightings, including Freshwater Bay and Shipwreck Point.

If you want to know where you can watch whales in Westport and the Olympic Coast, I have written an article which you can find here.

Hawaii

What is better than combining sun, sand, and sea? Having it happen in a place as breathtakingly beautiful as Hawaii. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that is completely made up of islands.

Hawaii

Apart from the fantastic hospitality of its people and the excellent food it provides, Hawaii is famous for its beaches.

Tourists who visit are always enthralled by the number of water-related activities that can be undertaken, including snorkeling, diving, fishing, and surfing.

Therefore, the fact that whale watching is a major event here should come as no surprise. Humpback whales are the most frequent of the whale species spotted here, in addition to pygmy killer whales and short-finned pilot whales.

Whale

The whale watching season officially begins by mid-April, although the majority of the humpback population arrive from their migration to the Alaskan waters by September to give birth and care for their young.

Therefore, the most successful whale sightings would happen from the months of November up to May of the following year.

The six islands that Hawaii is made up of each offer different activities, and of these, the island Maui is considered the best and original whale watching area.

Kauai island

Maui is a popular island that is also one of the best areas to spot a whale from the land. Whale watching here dates back a long time, and the island is also famous for its Haleakala National Park.

Maui is another one of the rare places where it is possible to get closer to whales than the usual whale-watching cruise. For instance, it is possible to get to them by paddle boarding or, for an even more personal experience, choose the snorkeling option.

If you want more information on which whales you can watch around North America, I have written an article which you can find here.

This would likely be a memory to remember forever, as the humpback whales that can be spotted are likely to be accompanied by their calves, just after given birth to the previous winter. The whale watching experience in Maui is a magical one.

Whale watching is an undeniably rewarding experience and is an experience that can’t easily be replicated. It is in a category of its own kind, and each experience only makes you want to go again.

There is something mesmerizing about watching these gigantic sea creatures in their natural habitat that seems to surpass all expectations every single time.

Wondering where you can see the largest animal in the world, the blue whale. If so, I have written an article which you can find here.

Whale

North America, due to the movements of its currents and the many coastal areas it possesses, is able to offer one of the highest quality whale watching experiences and is something that should be on every nature lover’s bucket list.

Whale watching may make you feel small as it redefines size and scale on a whole new level.

Whenever you are on the coast in North America, look out for whales, as there may be one looking at you.

If you want to find out how to prepare for a whale watching trip, I have written an article which you can find here.

References

Bernhard Grzimek, Schlager, N., Olendorf, D. and American (2003). Grzimek’s animal life encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale.

Carwardine, M. (2010). Whales, dolphins and porpoises. London: Dorling Kindersley.

Carwardine, M. (2017). Mark Carwardine’s guide to whale watching in North America : USA, Canada, Mexico, where to go, what to see. London: Bloomsbury.

Hadoram Shirihai, Jarrett, B., Graeme Cresswell and Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Whales, dolphins and seals : a field guide to the marine mammals of the world. London: Bloomsbury Wildlife.

Martin, T. (1990). The illustrated encyclopedia of whales and dolphins. Hodder.

Nowak, R.M. and Walker, E.P. (1991). Walker’s mammals of the world. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Perrin, W.F., Würsig, B.G. and J  G  M Thewissen (2002). Encyclopedia of marine mammals. San Diego: Academic Press.

Richard John Harrison and Bryden, M.M. (1990). Whales, dolphins and porpoises. London: Merehurst.

Williams, H. (1988). Whale nation. London: Cape.

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May, J. (1990). The Greenpeace book of dolphins. London: Century.

Bryan Harding

Bryan has spent his whole life around animals. While loving all animals, Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Not only does Bryan share his knowledge and experience with our readers, but he also serves as owner, editor, and publisher of North American Mammals.

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