California
Dolphin & Whale Watching

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended California Dolphin & Whale Watching

Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

1. Monterey Bay: Whale Watching Tour

Discover a variety of whale species in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on this cruise from Monterey. Uncover one of the world’s best locations for whale watching due to its deep submarine canyon close to shore. With whales spotted almost every day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Set sail from the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Catch a glimpse of the hundreds of Californian Sea Lions inside the harbor as the boat leaves the dock. Take advantage of the view and snap a photo to capture the memory. Pass the historic Cannery Row as you leave the harbor and enter the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Search for feeding humpback whales, a variety of dolphin species, porpoises, blue whales, and fin whales. Listen as the onboard biologist provides fascinating insights into the creatures of the bay and what is being done to protect them. During the summer/ fall season, the tour will focus on feeding whales that come to the bay to feast on small fish and krill. Spot humpback whales daily but keep an eye out for blue whales, fin whales, gray whales (finishing migration), orcas and a variety of other dolphin species. During the winter season, the tour will focus on migrating whales at the south end of Monterey Bay where gray whales pass by. Return to your starting point at the end of your tour.

San Diego: SeaWorld Skip-the-Line Park Admission Ticket

2. San Diego: SeaWorld Skip-the-Line Park Admission Ticket

Discover the underwater world at SeaWorld San Diego, with animal encounters, interactive exhibits, and thrilling rides. Get up close to marine life and enjoy educational animal presentations for the whole family to enjoy. Upgrade your ticket to include a pass to eat all day at SeaWorld. Experience thrilling rides such as Electric Eel with its high-energy twists and loops, or Manta, with two thrilling launches that send riders soaring in the spirit of the world’s largest ray. For kid-friendly fun, enjoy Tentacle Swirl, Sea Dragon Drop, Elmo's Flying Fish, and so much more. Admire the animals at SeaWorld such as beluga whales, walruses, penguins, sharks, and orcas as you learn about these incredible creatures. Enjoy interactive exhibits such as the Explorer's Reef Touchpools and Sea Lion Point. Explore the Sesame Street Bay of Play where you can meet your Sesame Street friends.

Newport Beach: Ultimate Whale Watching Adventure

3. Newport Beach: Ultimate Whale Watching Adventure

Take a 2-hour dolphin and whale watching tour from Newport Beach. Cruise in an open boat that offers 360-degree views from anywhere onboard, allowing everyone a to have close encounter with nature. Admire the stunning coastal landscape and look out for whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife.   Board a custom-built RIB, perfect for whale watching. The boat has a maximum capacity of 15 people, giving each passenger a piece of the action. See dolphins come almost close enough to touch. The boat can travel at speed and cruises up to 14 miles from port to ensure the highest success rate of animal sightings.

Newport Beach: Whale and Dolphin-Watching Cruise

4. Newport Beach: Whale and Dolphin-Watching Cruise

Head out on a whale and dolphin-watching cruise from Newport Beach. The waters surrounding Newport Harbor offer deep nutrient-rich waters that attract all types of marine creatures. With a 96% success rate, almost every trip has the opportunity to see whales or dolphins. Look out for giant blue whales (during the summer and fall months), finback whales, gray whales (winter and spring months), minke whales, humpback whales, several types of dolphin (including giant rizzo dolphin over 14 feet in length), seals, and all sorts of other marine life. Most whale-watching cruises take in the scenic backdrops of Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach while viewing the gentle giants just a few hundred yards from shore. Due to the geography of the Orange County coastline that surrounds Newport Harbor, ocean conditions are incredibly calm. The captain and crew have backgrounds in marine biology and can provide details about the marine creatures, environment, and ecosystems.

Monterey: Sunset Whale Watching

5. Monterey: Sunset Whale Watching

Enjoy the wildlife, then relax as you take in the beautiful sunset over Monterey Bay on a sightseeing cruise. Meet your guide at the wharf and climb aboard the boat to start your tour. Spot whales, dolphins, and a wide variety of marine wildlife in Monterey Bay. Whales are seen every day in this area. Listen to your marine biologist or naturalist guide as they share interesting information about the animals you see, the natural history of the local area, and conservation. Witness scientific research in action as marine biologists and naturalists collect sighting data to learn about the local wildlife. Then, sit back and relax as the sun sets, reflected in the water, providing lasting memories and incredible photo opportunities. Finally, return to the wharf and dry land.

San Diego: Classic Yacht Sailing Experience

6. San Diego: Classic Yacht Sailing Experience

Immerse yourself in the lap of luxury as you set sail on a Liberty sailboat from the Sunset Resort Marina, and take a golden opportunity to spot stunning wildlife such as sea lions and dolphins. Choose from a daytime or sunset version of the tour that best suites your needs. Take a journey back to the early twentieth century on board this handsome boat, modeled on a 1914 'Friendship Sloop'. Get hands-on as you try out steering the boat yourself during the 2.5 hour tour! Admire the San Diego skyline shimmering away on the horizon, as you cruise alongside grand ships like the USS Midway and the USS Carl Vinson. Sit back and absorb the views while enjoying complimentary snacks and drinks, and get your camera ready to snap the twinkling lights of San Diego, from the Maritime Museum to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

7. San Diego: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

San Diego is one of the best locations to watch whales year-round. Gray Whales migrate winter-spring from feeding grounds in Alaskan waters to calving lagoons in Baja California and back. In summer, the legendary Blue Whales, the largest animals on Earth, commonly feed off-shore of the San Diego coast. You may also spot Fin, Blue, Humpback, and Minke whales during the summer whale watching season. Additionally, you'll often see pods of Dolphins including Risso’s, Common, Pacific White-Sided, and Bottlenose Dolphins. Your captain will also highlight other wildlife such as Sea Lions, various fish like Mola Mola (Sunfish), and a variety of marine birds such as Herons, Terns, Pelicans, and Gulls.  View these extraordinary mammals in the wild on this spectacular cruise. The expert crew will help you locate these creatures and additional marine wildlife, such as dolphins and sea lions. Learn about marine life and local environmental efforts from professional captains and whalers who work at the San Diego Natural History Museum. You may even spot a whale calf traveling with its mother as they return from the Arctic. This is a fantastic and exhilarating journey for all age groups. Guaranteed whale or dolphin sighting. If you don't sight some type of whale or dolphin during the cruise, you'll be issued a pass that's good for another San Diego whale watching or harbor cruise. San Diego is quickly becoming one of the world’s best whale watching locations. The city is home to whales, dolphins, and sea birds, and features one of the world's most beautiful coastlines.  Enjoy live educational narration from captains and trained naturalists employed by the Natural History Museum.  Watch blue whales and dolphins in comfort on a large, fast, and stable boat!

Santa Barbara: Private Kayaking Tour

8. Santa Barbara: Private Kayaking Tour

Experience Santa Barbara from the beautiful waters of the town's historic harbor. Enjoy California's beach life on your private tour, where the waters are calm each morning and invite even the beginners to hop into a kayak and explore the pristine waters. Your guide will give you all the safety and training you need for this experience and also introduce you to the area’s native wildlife – from the obvious avian friends to the mysterious and beloved humpback whales, which migrate through the area twice a year. Discover the serenity the ocean invites, and learn Santa Barbara's fascinating history, which can be tracked back almost 13,000 years. Paddle under the California's oldest working pier, which was constructed in the mid-19th century, and look for starfish and oysters that have made their homes on the pier. Eventually, make your way back to the boat launch, where your tour ends.

Frequently asked questions about California Dolphin & Whale Watching

What are other things to do than Dolphin & Whale Watching that are worth visiting in California?

The other unmissable things to do in California are:

Which California Dolphin & Whale Watching are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in California

Want to discover all there is to do in California? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about California

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 71 reviews

So easy to use and loads of choices. Just make sure you download the app for your qr codes to enter your venues. Used ours for san diego zoo, sea world and knotts berry farm. 100% recommend. Great value for money considering knotts berry farm wanted $99 per person on the gate.

It was an amazing experience all around. The staff was helpful friendly and polite. It was fun to be able to move about the boats to get a better look at the whales. It also helps that the day we set out were lucky enough to see plenty of animals.

Well organized tour. Unfortunately no whales nor dolphins seen. But there's nothing you can do.

Fantastic trip the guys couldn’t have been any more helpful with their knowledge , would recommend

Very decent people and excellent trip. Super value too. Great fun.