From December to March visitors to San Diego have the one-of-a-kind opportunity to witness one of nature’s most majestic events: the migration of the California Gray Whales. The whales migrate from the Alaskan seas, where they spend the spring and summer, down to the warm water lagoons of Baja California, where they birth and rear their young. Ocean Park Inn is centrally located for either viewing the whales from land, or chartering a day excursion to view them up close.
Those of you wishing to stay dry should
head down to Cabrillo National Monument, one of San Diego’s most picturesque national parks. The monument is located on the southern tip of the Point Loma peninsula and offers a glass enclosed observatory which serves as the perfect lookout for these amazing creatures. The monument also features whale exhibits and a taped narration explaining the characteristics of these animals.
After Christmas, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps celebrates the gray whale season with whale exhibits and educational activities. The aquarium’s outdoor tide-pool area overlooks the La Jolla shoreline and the Pacific Ocean, making it an ideal vantage point for viewing the migration.
For those of you that are more on the adventurous side San Diego offers a number of day excursions for whale watching, and there is an excursion for every level of explorer. If a leisurely luxury cruise is more your style, then check out Hornblower Cruises and Adventures, which offers a 3½-hour deluxe whale watching adventure cruise from December to April. If you are the kind of person who likes to get up close and personal with nature, be sure to schedule a whale watching kayak tour with OEX Kayak and Dive Center. This excursion gives you 2 ½-hours of whale watching action, and takes you on a one-mile paddle trip around the Pacific.
Be sure to add San Diego to your travel plans this winter or early spring because whether you charter an ocean adventure or simply view the whales from a distance, this is one experience you won’t want to miss!