There’s no wrong way to celebrate the holidays. Some people like to gather with family and friends at home, while others like to take the whole group out on a new adventure. If you and your family are among the adventurous types, consider whale watching in San Diego this holiday season. Even sailing with a dog is possible, so you can literally bring the whole family.
Best Months for Whale Watching
San Diego whale watching tours take place all year, and different whale species migrate at different times of the year. Therefore, there really isn’t a bad time for whale watching, especially if you aren’t particular about the type of whale you end up sighting and are primarily interested in the experience.
Nevertheless, there is an acknowledged whale watching season in San Diego. It takes place from December to around March or April when a really large migration takes place from cold northern feeding grounds to the warmer waters of Baja California. The migration route takes the whales right along the San Diego shoreline, giving you a spectacular vantage point when you take a tour. Better still, the start of the migration in December coincides with the holiday season, making this a great activity to enjoy with your family.
Types of Whales One Can See
If you are planning a whale watching excursion, you are most likely to see gray whales near the beginning of their annual migration. Gray whales spend most of the year in the waters around Alaska, where food is plentiful. However, as the weather turns colder up north, they begin to make their way southward towards warmer tropical waters, where they will give birth to their babies. They will spend a few months in Baja California then, when the calves are old enough to make the journey, return north to Alaska around mid-March to early April. The peak of the gray whale season occurs around Valentine’s Day in February, and if you want to see gray whale calves, you may want to wait until closer to Easter, but there are still plenty of whales to see around Christmas and New Year’s.
Furthermore, there are other species you may see when you plan a whale watching San Diego December. The peak of the humpback whale migration occurs around November, so you may still see some of these majestic creatures as they make their way past San Diego. Humpback whales are a little bit larger than gray whales and have amazed scientists with their complex underwater vocalizations.
In late November and early December, you may see orcas, also known as killer whales. These are not the largest cetaceans, but they are among the most iconic because of their distinctive black-and-white markings. At all times of the year, but especially in January, you may spot dolphins and porpoises, which are smaller cousins of the big whales undertaking their annual migrations at this time of year.
The holidays present opportunities to create lasting memories with your family. Taking your family on a holiday whale watching tour is an experience none of you will ever forget.