It is whale watching season in San Diego!

Each year from December through April, 20,000 gray whales pass through San Diego while on their 10,000 mile journey from chilly Alaska to temperate Baja, California. They migrate the same path every year in order for the mothers to give birth to their calves in a warmer climate. The families spend several months in the warmer waters of Baja, allowing their babies to grow and strengthen, before making the trek back up to Alaska later in the year.

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San Diego has over 70 miles of coast land directly in the whales’ migration path, so there are plenty of places to view these amazing animals. Would you like to see these gentle giants? There are many places you can go to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures!

Viewing the whales from land

The best place to view the whales is from a higher location, which gives you the ability to see more of the water. Places like the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla, the Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, and Torrey Pines State Reserve (north of La Jolla) are all great locations.

Birch Aquarium
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, CA 92093-0207
Open 9-5 daily
$14.00 for adults; $10.00 with student ID


 Birch Aquarium
Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr
San Diego, CA 92106
Open 9-5 daily (whale films shown at 12 and 3 pm)
$5.00 per car; $3.00 per walk-in guest


Torrey Pines State Reserve 
Torrey Pines Road South 
8 am to sunset
$10.00 per car
For great tips on visiting Torrey Pines, visit its page on
torrey pines2

Viewing the whales from the sea

Would you like to get a closer look at these amazing migrating animals? San Diego has many tour companies that offer whale excursions. A whale watching trip is also a great way to experience the ocean and see San Diego’s beautiful skyline from a different point of view. In addition, tour operators are knowledgeable about whales and can provide you with many fascinating facts!  For a list of whale watching tours, check out the city of San Diego’s page listing the many operators.
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