Whale watching season in San Diego traditionally occurs from December through April when California gray whales journey from the chilly Alaskan seas to the warm water lagoons of Baja California.
Guests on a winter cruise can witness thousands of California gray whales come within a few miles of the San Diego coastline on their 5,000-mile southern voyage passage as these "peaceful giants of the sea" swim to warmer climates to birth and rear their young. Their journey is one of nature's most extraordinary events and is the longest known distance any mammal migrates on an annual basis.
In the fall and summer months, whale watching excursions also tout the opportunity to see humpback, fin and minke whales, along with frequent year-round sightings of bottlenose, pacific white-sided and common dolphins. With 70 miles of coastline, San Diego makes an ideal location for viewing this impressive parade of marine life.
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla celebrates the gray whale season with educational activities and whale exhibits. The aquarium's outdoor tide-pool plaza, overlooking La Jolla's shoreline and the Pacific Ocean, offers an excellent vantage point for viewing the gray whale's epic journey.
The 5th annual Big Bay Whale Days and Whale Festival on January 25, 2014, offer family fun and entertainment along San Diego Bay's downtown waterfront Embarcadero. Throughout the month of January, guests can also celebrate with "Whale of a Deal" packages that provide discounts and coupons for whale watching excursions, restaurants and museums located along the Embarcadero.
Cabrillo National Monument overlooks the ocean and provides a spectacular coastline to discover marine life. Located on the panoramic Point Loma peninsula, the park offers a glass-enclosed observatory for whale watching; guests can also explore whale exhibits and listen to a taped narration describing characteristics of these popular animals.
Cabrillo's 27th annual Whale Watch Weekend and Intertidal Life Festival occurs January 11-12, 2014 and features presentations, exhibits and films. Rangers are also on hand throughout the weekend to assist visitors in spotting whales in the ocean and explore the park's magnificent tide pools. Admission is $5 per private vehicle.
For details of whale watching day excursions visit San Diego Whale Watching.
For more information about top events in California take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in California