Best time to travel to Washington

Whale Watching

The waters surrounding the Evergreen State are teeming with a variety of whale species

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Last updated: by Mariana Droniak
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Because of its location, Washington is a very convenient place to observe multiple varieties of whales. Returning from the cold waters of the north or the warm waters of the south, whales pass Washington so often, it is almost impossible to miss them. At different times of the year, you can catch a glimpse of gray whales, and orca whales.

San Juan Island

The priciest, but also the fanciest and closest to Seattle tours depart from Lake Union. These tours include a two-way flight to Friday Harbor, aerial sightings of San Juan Island, and a whale safari afterward. Orca whales are what this area is known for and proud of. Each year, mid-May and mid-October, thousands of orca whales pass near San Juan Island. At this time of the year, the waters are loaded with salmon, which attracts orca whales the most. San Juan Island is also reachable by a boat cruise. Other Seattle tours depart either from West Seattle or Elliot Bay.

Everett

Everett is located just 30 minutes from Seattle and is known for its gray whales. For a limited period, mid-February to mid-June, gray whales choose this location for feeding on their way to Alaska.

Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Peninsula is a legendary place for whale admirers. The Strait of Juan de Fuca hosts gray and orca whales during the migration between April and May or October and November. Port Angeles and Port Townsend are great places to start your journey.

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