Whale watching season never really ends on the California coast, according to many tour guides and boat operators. However, they like to maximize their trips and some (like Dana Wharf) give rainchecks if the whales aren't spotted. So they tend to offer the whale watching trips when there's close to a sure bet that the guests will see something exciting. The photo was taken by Dana Wharf showing dolphins putting on quite a show. This particular boat operator ends their tours in late October but launches again around January 1.
Like their counterparts some 15 miles away, Newport Landing Sportsfishing offers whale watching tours and runs their boats throughout the winter if whales are spotted. You can wander by their office near Balboa Fun Zone and see the whale counts. 2010 brought an amazing number of Blue Whale migration spottings. The Newport Beach boat companies are currently gearing up for the Christmas boat parade, while maintaining their day sportsfishing outings and some whale watching. The California Grey Whale migrations are expected to be seen off shore starting now through mid-April.
For around $25, you can get out on the Pacific Ocean and have a wonderful ride as you watch the pelicans fly and sometimes land on your boat, see the waves, the dolphins, some whales and scenery such as piers & beaches. It isn't a bad way to spend an afternoon and it really is relaxing, refreshing, and brings you so much closer to the ocean's creatures.
Whale watching boats can be found in San Diego, Oceanside, Dana Point, Newport Beach, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, and San Francisco.