5 places to see whales in winter
5 places to see whales in winter: If you’ve never had a chance to see whales in their natural habitat, it’s really an experience unlike any other. While East Coast boat operators offer whale watching tours in the summer, the West Coast takes center stage for marine mammal shows during the winter. Take a look at the online whale watching list that San Diego charter companies post frequently today, and you’ll find that it’s not hard to find a humpback, gray, or blue if you’re in the right place. Whether you’re a local resident or you’re planning a lifelong vacation, here are five places you can go in search of the largest life forms on earth.
Every winter, Pacific gray whales travel south in search of warm water to give birth to their calves, fatten them and then return to Alaska. The last US stop on their trip is San Diego, which means you can start it in December. If you don’t have time during the holidays, don’t worry, as the best whales to see in San Diego last until April.
When gray whales emerge from the waters of Alaska for the longest regular migration in the world, their destination is the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. While many coastal sites offer whale watching opportunities when marine mammals pass by, Mexico enjoys several consecutive months where they hang around and raise their calves. Some San Diego boat charters will take you to the breeding grounds of these ancestors, but make sure you have a valid passport.
If you are a lover of marine wildlife, Monterey Bay can be a great vacation destination. The city is not only the best aquarium in the country, but also home to a huge underwater valley full of fish, otters and other aquatic creatures. While you can enjoy whale watching all year round, December offers a chance to see gray and blue whales at the same time.
The West Coast is not the only hotbed for whale watching in the winter. Hawaii offers some of the best opportunities in the world to see marine mammals up close, and humpbacks take the stage from December to April. Maui is the best place to see these majestic creatures during their annual visit as it is close to the water of their traditional mating.
The best winter whale watching takes place in the Pacific, but North Florida offers the opportunity to see one of the rarest species on the planet. Every December, North Atlantic right whales migrate to warm waters off the coast of Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral to raise their calves. If you are able to see one of these marine mammals, consider yourself lucky as there are less than 500 left.