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Whale Watching Orange County

The highest rated with 4,500+ five-star reviews

Quick Details

Adults Ages 13+
Seniors Ages 55+
Children Ages 3 to 12
Infant Ages 2 and under
July & August
Adults Ages 13+
Seniors Ages 55+
Children Ages 3 to 12
Infant Ages 2 and under
EPIC 4 Hour Whale Watching Adventure -
12 People Max
Per Person Ages 5+

Discover the Thrill of Orange County Whale Watching

Orange County, California is known for its beautiful beaches, sunny weather, and vibrant culture. But did you know that it is also one of the best places in the world for whale watching?

Every year, thousands of whales migrate along the coast of Orange County, making it a prime location for whale watching enthusiasts.

Why Orange County is a Top Destination for Whale Watching

The Annual Whale Migration

One of the main reasons why Orange County is a top destination for whale watching is because of the annual whale migration. Every year, thousands of gray whales make their way from the cold waters of Alaska to the warm waters of Mexico to give birth. This migration takes place from December to April, making it the perfect time to spot these majestic creatures.

A Variety of Whale Species

Aside from the gray whales, Orange County is also home to a variety of other whale species, including humpback whales, blue whales, and fin whales. This means that you have a higher chance of spotting different types of whales during your whale watching trip.

Ideal Weather Conditions

Orange County’s mild and sunny weather makes it an ideal location for whale watching. With clear skies and calm waters, you’ll have a better chance of spotting whales and enjoying a comfortable boat ride.

When is the Best Time to Go Whale Watching in Orange County?

The best time to go whale watching in Orange County is from December to April, during the annual whale migration. However, the peak season for whale watching is from January to March, when the highest number of whales can be seen along the coast.

Top Spots for Whale Watching in Orange County

Dana Point: The Whale Watching Capital

Dana Point is known as the “Whale Capital of the West” and is one of the top spots for whale watching in Orange County. Located just south of Laguna Beach, Dana Point offers a variety of whale watching tours and has a high success rate for sightings. You can also spot dolphins, sea lions, and other marine life during your trip.

The Highest-Rated Whale Watching & Dolphin Tour in SoCal

Dana Wharf Whale Watching was established in 1971, marking the inception of whale watching in Orange County. As pioneers of the industry, we have now become the leading year-round whale watching facility in Southern California. If you are planning to go whale watching, Dana Wharf in Dana Point should be your ultimate destination.

Our whale and dolphin watching cruises are all led by expert marine naturalist captains, who provide informative narration about the diverse ocean life along our coast. Each trip lasts for two hours, providing ample time to explore the fascinating world that lies beneath the ocean.

About the Whale Watching & Dolphin Adventure

Come and join Dana Wharf, the first and favorite whale watching company among locals, to enjoy the thrilling sights and sounds of the magnificent ocean creatures in Dana Point. It is a landmark destination for marine life sightings, where you can witness rare glimpses of a variety of underwater wildlife and breathtaking scenic views that you will never forget.

During the whale watching season, we spot over 1,500 gray whales, and in the summer, we see blue whales. Throughout the year, we also get to see fin whales, minke whales, humpback whales, and even sharks.

Every trip with us is a unique experience, so make sure to come out often! We provide year-round whale watching tours, and we guarantee marine mammal sightings. If you don’t see a whale or dolphin during your trip, we will give you a voucher for a free tour that never expires!

You can observe different types of wildlife such as:

  • Gray whales (November – May) – These friendly whales are up to 65 feet long!
  • Blue whales (May – November) – They can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh up to 100 tons – you will not believe your eyes if you’re lucky enough to see one of these impressive marine mammals!
  • These whales visit year-round – fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and more.
  • Dolphins – Take memorable photos as schools of playful dolphins frolic around the boat!
  • Sea lions, pelicans, and other seafaring birds, plus possible sightings of sharks (mako, hammerhead, and great white).

Trips may be aboard our Dana Pride, the Queen of our fleet and our largest vessel; the Lot’ A Fun, our brand new state-of-the-art catamaran with incredible unobstructed 360-degree views; or our Ocean Adventure, a luxury eco-friendly catamaran with a raised EYE SPY viewing platform. We guarantee the best whale watching experience in Southern California!

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Private Whale and Dolphin Watching Tours Available!

See the whales, dolphins, other sea life, and breathtaking coastal views during your private and unique experience at Dana Point. Your captain and marine life expert will be your personal narrator during your two-hour adventure.