Come and experience California’s year-round whale fest.

From the far north to the Mexican border, California’s pristine waters play center stage to much-loved visitors such as humpbacks and orcas, as well as gray whales, who follow the entire coast on their yearly migration.

California is one of the few places where you can see whales year-round. From San Francisco in the north to San Diego in the south, these giants of the deep migrate up and down the coast, providing humans with one of the greatest shows on Earth.

It’s easy to spot passing whales with the naked eye from California’s many points which jut out into the Pacific Ocean, however, nothing comes close to the thrill of seeing these majestic beasts up close out on the water. The most common species in Californian waters are gray whales, which make an astonishing 10,000-mile (16,090-kilometer) round trip each year between their feeding grounds in the Arctic and the warmer breeding and calving lagoons of Mexico.

Off San Francisco and Monterey Bay, humpback and blue whales appear year-round, while blue, sperm, beaked, minke whales and orcas appear seasonally. Whale-watching cruises in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas focus on the gray whales in winter and the mighty blue whales in summer.

Destinations Whale Watchers will love

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The sun always seems to shine in Southern California, where you can enjoy some of the country’s best weather on gorgeous beaches, in family theme parks and at iconic landmarks. 
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Discover one of California’s most beautiful coastal cities, known for its fabulous aquarium and for being the setting for a famous John Steinbeck novel. 
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This chic, oceanfront community is famous for its beautiful surf, views and homes.
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Visit this quaint beach town to enjoy its lively cultural scene and its famous surfing conditions. The site was founded by the Franciscan friar, Junipero Serra.
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“Surf City USA’’ has the longest stretch of uninterrupted beachfront on the West Coast.
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Explore the shores of this stunning alpine lake and get active on the mountain slopes, with plenty of beaches, nature parks, casinos and ski resorts to choose from.
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On the sun-drenched Pacific coast, this Southern California city provides great beaches, a famous zoo, historic sites and exciting nightlife.
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Experience glamour and the good life in Los Angeles County, a region frequented by the rich and famous, as well as cinema-lovers, sun-seekers and culture vultures.