Whale watching on the Oregon coast is a fun activity people enjoy year round, but especially during the winter and spring whale migrations, where up to 25,000 gray whales pass the Oregon coast. Here are some tips to get you started on your whale watching journey.
When And Where To Go Whale Watching On The Oregon Coast
From mid December through January almost 25,000 gray whales migrate south along the Oregon coast to the warmer waters of Baja Mexico, so this is a great time to get out with your binoculars to spot whales.
Another good time to go whale watching is during the spring migration north starting in late March and ending in June. Each year around 200 of the migrating whales choose to stay along the Oregon coast for the summer to feed.
While you can see whales at any spot along the scenic Oregon coast, here are the best viewing locations to increase your chance of seeing whales:
- Cape Kiwanda
- Ecola State Park
- The Highway 101 Neahkahnie Mountain Historic Turnout
- 10th floor Inn at Spanish Head Lobby
- Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint
- Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint
- Cape Lookout State Park at the tip of the cape (which is a 2.5 mile hike. Check to see that the trail is open before going, as weather damage can close this trail on occasion).
- The Depoe Bay Sea Wall
- The Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center (May be closed due to Covid-19)
- Cape Foulweather
- Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint
- Don Davis City Park
- Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area
- Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center (May be closed due to Covid-19)
- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
- Cape Ferrelo
- Harris Beach State Park
- Shore Acres State Park
- The Umpqua Lighthouse
- Cook’s Chasm Turnout
Tips For Whale Watching In Oregon
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The Oregon coast can have unpredictable weather and chilly temperatures, even in the summer, so dress in warm layers and bring weatherproof coats and hats.
Bring binoculars for each member of your whale watching party, and watch for whale spouts which shoot up to 12 feet in the air as the whales surface to breathe. Once you spot the whale spout, use your binoculars to get a closer look.
Bring snacks or a picnic lunch and a thermos of hot cocoa or coffee to keep you warm on your whale watching adventure. Don’t forget to stop in to one of the local coastal restaurants for a hot bowl of delicious clam chowder. Here are some of our favorite spots for chowder on the Oregon coast:
- Bandon Fish Market
- Gracie’s Sea Hag in Depoe Bay
- Mo’s in Astoria
- Also check out these 12 Oregon Coast Restaurants With Ocean Views
Have you ever been whale watching on the Oregon coast? Tag the friends and family you want to go on an Oregon coast adventure with!