Orange County, California, is one of the best spots in the state for whale watching. With two prime ports nearby, it is easy to hop on a boat, get offshore, and witness nature’s majestic giants making their migrations. In areas like Dana Point, you don’t have to go further than local parks to hike to a viewpoint and catch spouts, flukes, and playful whales jumping in the water. Beach goers, climbers, and tour-takers alike can delight in the natural cycle of nature as a variety of whale species make their way down to Mexico.
Whales are remarkable animals. Indigenous tribes and cultures have been worshiping whales and being mesmerized by them for centuries. Whales are mostly peaceful animals who roam the sea, raise families, and protect their own. We can learn a lot from these magical creatures and keep their wisdom in mind as we set out on our whale watching excursions.
Whales go with the flow
Our climate is changing and with the changing climate has come changes in ocean temperature. Waters are warming up and causing whales to migrate at different times to find warmer or colder climates. Whales follow the current and don’t stop until they reach their destination.
Whales are resilient
When on their journeys, whales can encounter vicious attacks by Orca whales, poachers, and irresponsible boaters. No matter what comes their way, whales are resilient and continue living in the present moment to go with the flow. They migrate where they need to, fight when they need to, and look after their babies however they need to in order to ensure survival. Whales show up to the challenges life presents them and just keep flowing through them.
Whales know when to take a break
All that swimming and fish eating can be hard work for a whale. Whales, and other air breathing underwater animals, know how to take a break. If whales worked past their limitations, they would risk their own lives, their health, and the lives of their offspring. Coming up for air is not up for debate with whales. Whales know how to take a break, take a moment, and let off some steam. In addition to breathing breaks, whales have some fun jumping, spinning, crashing, and dancing.
Where to watch whales in Orange County
- Tours out of Dana Point Harbor
- Tours out of Newport Beach Harbor
- Hike the Dana Point Preserve trail at the Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area
- Spend time on the beach with some binoculars. If they’re swimming close you can see them from shore without enhanced vision.
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