Whale Watching

Pack your binoculars and a sense of adventure, and go in search of migrating Gray whales along the Oregon Coast. Catch a glimpse of Gray whales blowing, breaching and fluking as they pass by on their 12,000-mile (19,300-km) annual migration from the Arctic Ocean to the warm, calm bays of Mexico in the winter to birth their young. In the spring, observe their return journey north, where they spend the summer feeding in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.

When to Go

Approximately 18,000 whales cruise the coastline with prime whale watching in March, April, May, June and mid-December to mid-January. Smaller numbers can be spotted during the summer months and early fall.

There are about 200 whales that enjoy Oregon's mild weather so much they stay all summer long, feeding just offshore. Excellent whale watching can be had all along Oregon's 363-mile (584-km) coastline, so check out some of these great places to watch any time of year.

Winter Whale Watch Week Dec 27

It's Whale Watch Week along the Oregon Coast! In winter approximately 18,000 gray whales travel south to the warm lagoons of Baja Mexico. Mid-December through mid-January is the peak of whale migration past Oregon. Spot Gray whales and partake in whale watch counts along the…

Spring Whale Watch Week Mar 23

It's Whale Watch Week along the Oregon Coast! In spring approximately 20,000 gray whales travel north to the cold waters of Alaska. Late March through June is the peak of the spring whale migration past Oregon. Spot gray whales and partake in whale watch counts along the Oregon…

Tips From the Oregon Whale Watching Center 

  • Morning light (with the sun at your back) is often helpful for spotting blows. Afternoon light reflects off the water and makes viewing difficult.
  • Any spot with an ocean view may yield whale sightings, but higher locations are better than sandy beaches.
  • Anytime you are along the ocean shoreline, stay a safe distance from the shore break and be alert for sneaker waves, which may come in farther than expected.
Road Trip: Oregon Coast Sep 21
Road Trips

Road Trip: Oregon Coast

Ask any Oregonian for road trip tips and they'll tell you that the miles of open coastline along the Oregon Coast is a must-see for anyone…

Where to Go

Watch for whales from cozy oceanfront restaurants and hotels or at many roadside turnouts.

Ideal outdoor vantage points include:

At the Sea Lion Caves in spring and summer, spot sea lions on outside ledges, clustered in family units consisting of a bull and harems of 15 to 30 cows and their young. Occasional and infrequently seen Killer Whales patrol the edges of the sea lion territory.