Best time to travel to Oregon

Whale Watching

Enjoy an annual gray whale migration off the Oregon Coast


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Every winter from mid-December through mid-January about 20,000 gray whales pass the coast of Oregon on their way to the warm Baja, California waters. They return north from March through May. This is the premier time to observe whales in Oregon. However, some species can be found in local waters all year round.

Oregon's Depoe Bay is the top whale watching destination in the state often called Whale Watching Capital of the Oregon Coast. The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay operates year-round receiving thousands of visitors. During migration season boats regularly head west from the harbour. While aboard, tourists learn many facts and stories about whales. Pods of gray whales can be found in Depoe Bay in considerable numbers. The success rate of cruises is 98%. Summer and fall also offer whale watching off Depoe Bay. Some gray whales do not migrate and are resident of Depoe Bay feeding off local reef areas. It's also possible to see seals, sea birds, and other unique sea creatures.

Newport has gray whales at any time of the year due to the resident population that stays off the coast of Oregon between June and November. The number of visiting whales in Newport is about 200. Nearly 60 of them are resident that are seen regularly off the central coast. About 40 wales can be found between Lincoln City and Newport due to the food supply they have discovered.

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