Sea lions, dolphins, harbor seals, sharks, and whales—with so much marine life, there is no bad time of year to head out from Long Beach and take to the sea for a day trip adventure. Here’s what you need to know about whale watching off this stunning stretch of California coast.
When to Go
Whale watching near Long Beach is at its best as the whales make their way between Alaska and Baja, Mexico, for breeding. Blue whales tend to migrate down the California coast between May and November, while gray whales pass by from December to April. No matter the time of year, it’s likely you’ll spot dolphins, harbor seals, and sea lions. June, July, and August offer the driest weather with the lowest chance of rain.
What You’ll See
While sightings are never guaranteed–wildlife is unpredictable after all–passengers aboard whale-watching cruises from Long Beach often spot blue whales (the world’s largest mammals), Pacific gray whales, dolphins, sea lions, and harbor seals. Fin, minke, and humpback whales are also frequent visitors to the area, as well as the occasional pod of killer whales (orcas).
How to Go
Numerous whale-watching excursions depart from around the Long Beach area, including Newport Beach and Dana Point. These boat trips typically last two to three hours and often include live narration from the captain or an onboard naturalist who will explain more about native California sea life, as well as how best to spot blows and tail slaps—indications that whales are nearby.