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Why October is a Great Time for Whale Watching in Southern California

by Eugenia Lazaris

Oct 10, 2022

© Chase Dekker | Dreamstime.com


Southern California draws family travelers year-round thanks to its warm days and eternal sunshine. This incredible weather makes the Pacific Coast, from San Diego to Santa Barbara, the perfect place to enjoy a day looking for some of the planet’s most majestic creatures.


There are many great spots along the coast to spot whales from shore, like Torrey Pines State Park in San Diego or Dana Point Headlands. From these vantage points, whales can often be seen feeding or surfacing for air, but a whale-watching cruise that takes you out to their stomping grounds gives you the best up-close view.


Different types of whales can be seen year-round thanks to differing migratory patterns, warm waters and an abundance of fresh food, but each month has something different to offer. By October, temperatures in Southern California start dropping, so the days are extremely pleasant, but the waters are still warm enough to attract whales as they feed and travel north or south.


Blue whales are perhaps one of the most impressive types of whales to observe, especially in their native habitat, and October is one of the best months to try to catch a glimpse while they are feeding off the abundant krill found in the local waters. Other types of whales commonly seen at this time of year include fin whales, gray whales and minke whales and, if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a humpback whale or two.


The waters are also home to dolphins and sea lions, ensuring your excursion is sure to offer plenty of wildlife sightings while you enjoy the beautiful weather. While there are plenty of options for whale-watching excursions, some of the most popular include Captain Dave’s, which sails out of Dana Point and offers both group excursions as well as private charters.


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