Whale watching is a year-round activity on the Oregon Coast with gray whales by far the most commonly seen. Whale watching is not difficult, but a few tips make it easier. Any location with an ocean view may yield whale sightings, and morning light with the sun at your back is best.

  1. Feeding and Diving Whale Facts

    Gray gray whales are baleen whales.  This means when feeding for small crustaceans on the ocean floor, the whales roll on their sides and scoop up water and sediments.  They then force the water and sediments out through the fringed baleen plates that hang from either side of their upper…

  2. Gray Whale Migration

    Gray whales migrate South from their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi seas around Alaska from mid-December through January. They are heading to their breeding grounds in Baja California, Mexico, where warm-water lagoons become nurseries for expectant mothers. Then from late March to June the whales migrate North back…

  3. Gray Whales in Summer

    Some gray whales do not continue on to Alaskan waters but stay off the coast of Oregon between June and November. These part-time residents number about 200.  About 60 whales are seen repeatedly off the central coast and have been photographed and identified.  Of these, about 40 hang out between…

  4. Spy Hopping and Breaching Behavior

    The two whale behaviors that get people excited are spy hopping—where the head sticks straight up out of the water—and breaching—where 1/2 to 3/4 of the body length comes up out of the water and falls on its side or back causing a tremendous splash.Whale Expert, Bruce Mate’s theory on…

  5. Whale Watching by Sea and Air

    More than one of these charter businesses—both boats and planes—stressed that whale watching is better in the spring through fall when the weather is more pleasant and the seas and skies less rough.Charterboats:Tradewinds Charters, Depoe Bay, 800-445-8730 Dockside Charters, also have Zodiacs, Depoe Bay, 800-733-8915 Marine Discovery Tours (spring through fall), 65-foot…

  6. Whale Watching Spoken Here Program

    Each year peak migration times coincide with people’s vacation times. The Whale Watching Spoken Here program takes advantage of this coincidence with two weeks of assisted whale watching: one is the week between Christmas and New Year’s and the other is during the last week in March. During each whale-watch…

  7. Where to Spot Whales

    From north to south, these are the 28 Whale Watching Spoken Here sites. This list includes those plus three sites no longer a part of the program. With or without a volunteer to assist, these are the best locations along the coast to spot whales.Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Ilwaco,…