See whales from shore in OC!
As we get into late winter/spring which is prime gray whale viewing off Orange County, we can expect lots of sightings close enough to shore that you can view them without being on a boat. While booking a trip on a whale watching boat is of course the best option to see whales, for those who get sea sick easily or like to stay on land there are some other options for you. Certain spots along the Orange County Coastline tend to have more sightings close to shore due to the whales favoring certain beaches which enable them to roll around in the shallows to run barnacles off, these gray whales are known to get into about 10 feet of water which is right in the shore break. There is no better time of day as these gray whales are all migrating non-stop however lighting is better from shore in the morning and afternoon.
The top 3 spots in Orange County are Crescent Bay Point Park, Dana Point Headlands, and Balboa Pier. Crescent Bay Point Park and Dana Point Headlands both have high vantage points that have great views of the ocean while Balboa Pier area tends to be a favorite spot for the gray whales to stop and roll around in the shallows. To have the best odds of seeing one, you'll need to be patient and go on a day that the ocean is nice and calm. You'll be looking for spouts which look similar to a geyser that dissipates after a few seconds. Gray whales tend to be closer to shore on their Northbound journey which takes place as we get closer to spring with March-May being the best. If you have no luck, of course the best option would be to hop on a whale watching boat, you can take a tour out of Dana Point or Newport Beach from Newport Coastal Adventure, Dana Wharf, Davey's Locker, Newport Landing, or Dolphin Safari