When to Watch
December through February
Grey whales southbound from Alaska to Mexico. The entire population of grey whales (over 20,000) swim past the west coast twice a year, traveling between summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas and nursery/breeding lagoons in Baja California, Mexico. Grey whales are medium-sized, up to 45 feet long. Their dark, slate grey skin is covered with white patches caused by barnacles and parasites. They have no dorsal or back fin.
February through April
Grey whales northbound from Mexico to Alaska. Mothers with calves travel last, staying closer to the shore and moving slowly, making this one of the best times to see them.
April to December
Humpback whales can be seen along the central California coast.
June through October
Blue whales and humpback whales can be seen along the Big Sur coast, and around the Channel Islands. Blue whales are largest animal on earth, 70 to 90 feet long, with a heart the size of a small car. They’re blue-grey in color, long and streamlined, with light grey mottling. Humpbacks are 50 to 55 feet long, dark-colored with distinctive bumps on their noses.