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Monterey Bay Whale Watching
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Visiting Monterey Bay Whale Watching

4.5 (100%) 575 votes

California coasts offer great scenes of whales if you choose the right time to visit. The best place to have the perfect whale watching experience is in Monterey. The reason why the Monterey coast is popular for this extraordinary sight is that whales come so close to the shores of Monterey waters that people can easily see them full-size with naked eyes, unlike other areas where you need to go pretty far to gaze these gigantic creatures. The sublime Monterey Submarine Canyon has an ideal habitat for a number of whale species that makes them come so close to the banks.

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Experience a Never-Seen-Before World of Whales

Experience a Never-Seen-Before World of Whales

Marine Safari

Marine Safari

Whale watching in Monterey Bay is just similar to have a wildlife safari in Africa. The bay offers an amazing diversity besides seasonally migrating whales like blue whales and humpbacks. Many whale species roam about all year round. The beauty of the place is that every now and then, you’ll get the chance to see a fin or minke whale. Wait for the cameo appearance of the rarely visible beaked whale and sperm whale.

Whale Watching Cruise

Whale Watching Cruise

One of the most sought-after attractions of the Monterey Bay is booking tickets of whale watching cruises. You can choose your cruise from any shore from the three options: Santa Cruz on the north end, Monterey town on the south, and Moss Landing in the middle. Every year popular whale watching cruises are organized from these beaches.

Minke Whale

Minke Whale

One of the smallest baleen whales, Minke Whales are about 30' long. Monterey Bay provides views of Minke Whales all year round. However, the ideal time to watch them is during the summer and the fall. You will find them near shores of rocky bottom areas where these whales feed on young rockfishes.

Monterey Bay Whale Watching Tips and Tricks

How to Get Tickets?

You do not need any tickets to reach or explore the Monterey Bay area. Whale watching tours are, of course, paid, and are offered by several whale watching tour planners across the bay. You can choose from several available tour packages to find the one that best suits your needs.

How To Get Around?

Moving around the bay is easy. All popular attractions are at walking distance from each other and whale watching tours such as cruises are completely guided.

What Should I Wear?

Monterey Bay Whale Watching Facts

Best Time to Visit

California hosts the longest whale-watching season as almost all whale species can be seen here throughout the year. However, if you intend to visit the Monterey Bay to visit any specific whale species in particular, it is wise enough to check about its availability beforehand to avoid getting disappointed..


United States Dollar

Will I Need a Guide?

How To Get There?

For overseas visitors, San Francisco is the nearest airport. Easy accommodation is available nearby and you may ask the hoteliers to arrange a roundtrip for you to the Monterey Bay area. Private cars and Uber are another preferred options to reach the bay. If you want to drive yourself to the nearest whale watching cruise tour provider from San Francisco, take the Pacific Grove/Del Monte Avenue exit off of the Highway 1.

Additional Info

Remember to pack enough layers during winters. While getting on a cruise for a whale watching tour, you must ensure you are completely fit, and the process starts a day before the tour: avoid alcohol and eat bland foods to avoid seasickness.

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