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Best Time of Year for Whale Watching

San Diego whale watching tours are among the most popular activities for visitors to Southern California. If you are traveling to San Diego specifically for whale watching, you may wish to schedule your trip so that you can get the most out of it. Researching the best time of year for whale watching in San Diego is therefore a smart idea.

Whale Watching Season

December through April is generally regarded as the San Diego whale watching season because of the gray whale migration. Whale watching San Diego December starts out with the gray whales leaving their feeding grounds in Alaska and swimming south along the Pacific coast. If you visit during the winter, you may see them as they head toward Baja California where they give birth to their young. In the spring, you may sight them as they start making their way back north, possibly with their calves alongside them.

However, even if you can’t schedule your trip to San Diego during the whale-watching season from December to April, it doesn’t mean that you can’t see any whales. Different species migrate during various times of the year, so the best time to see whales depends on what type of whale you are most interested in seeing.

Would you like to see a blue whale, the largest animal on Earth? Schedule your trip for the summer; blue whales are present along the San Diego shoreline from May to August. What about a humpback whale, whose haunting songs have captured the imaginations of scientists and poets alike? These majestic animals are visible near San Diego starting in July, but their migration reaches its peak in November.

Items To Bring When Whale Watching

When you take a whale-watching tour, the crew will go out of their way to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Nevertheless, there are things you should bring for your own comfort and safety.

For example, whale watching San Diego January can be chilly even if the weather on land is mild. Therefore, you should dress in layers and possibly bring a raincoat if you do not want to get wet.

A whale-watching tour takes several hours. The tour company may provide water and snacks, but you are typically welcome to bring your own lunch along if you wish. Check with the tour company’s policy as you may not be able to bring alcohol or glass bottles on board.

Even if it is a cloudy day, bring sun protection in the form of sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Consider polarized sunglasses as these make it easier to see whales by reducing glare from the water.

During a whale-watching tour, you will probably be on your feet the entire time, the better to view the gentle giants. Therefore, wear comfortable walking shoes with good gripping soles to help you maintain your balance.

Finally, you may want to capture the experience of whale watching by bringing a camera with you. You can also use the camera on your phone, but these don’t always have the best zoom lenses, meaning that the pictures may turn out blurry. You may also get a better look at the whales if you bring a pair of binoculars.

Whale watching can be a life-changing experience. Book your tour early to avoid missing out.

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