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Key Info

410 S. Bay Front

Price & Hours

Prices vary by company
Hours vary by company

Details

Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

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  • 4.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Newport Beach is one of the country's best whale watching destinations. All year round, whales migrate through this area of the ocean. In winter and early spring, you'll catch a glimpse of gray whales migrating south to give birth to their calves; they'll turn around and head north around April or May, so if you're on the water during this time you may spot some calves as well. In summer and fall, blue whales are often found swimming in the waters surrounding Newport. Some visitors have also seen humpback whales and minke whales in these Southern California waters. The occasional dolphin may visit your boat as well, especially if you book your whale watching excursion in July when the warm waters attract these friendly creatures. Simply put, the waters off Newport Beach are always alive with animals, so you're unlikely to return from a whale watching trip disappointed.

There are many companies offering whale watching trips. Prices may vary by company, but you can expect to pay between $25 and $40. For example, traveler favorite Davey's Locker charges about $42 for an adult ticket and around $36 for tickets for children and seniors; you can opt for a VIP ticket, which allows you to sit with the captain, for around $57. All whale watching boats typically include a large observatory deck, as well as indoor amenities like restrooms and snack bars. Some companies, like the well-reviewed Newport Landing Whale Watching, offer limited capacity whale watching excursions, which are more expensive, but give you a more intimate experience on a smaller boat with a maximum of 15 passengers.

On most whale watching adventures, crew members will narrate the trip over an intercom system, so you can learn a bit about whale migration patterns and other fun facts while on your trip. Most trips last about two hours and disembark from the pier at the end of Palm Street on Balboa Peninsula, near Balboa Fun Zone. There's a parking lot nearby as well as street parking. For more information about whale watching tours in Newport Beach, check out the Whale Watching page of the Visit Newport Beach website.

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Near the parking lots, you'll find many volleyball nets for public use. The beach offers public restrooms, outdoor showers and an array of picnic tables. There are also fire pits for public use during normal beach hours (from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.) available on a first-come, first-served basis; you'll have to bring your own wood and fire starters, though.

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