Whale Watching

Spot gray whales, orcas, humpbacks, and more when you head out on a whale-watching excursion in Long Beach, CA.

whale watching in long beach

Where to Whale Watch in Long Beach

Long Beach’s waterfront consists of sandy beaches, parks, and beautiful piers ideal for a day of hanging out by the water and searching for aquatic life. While places like ShoreLine Aquatic Park, Alamitos Beach, and Long Beach City Beach are great for viewing whales, dolphins, and other sea creatures from afar, those looking to have a more complete whale-watching experience will want to head past the harbor waters and venture a few miles further into the ocean.


To get a closer look at the whales on Long Beach's coast, visitors can head out on a comprehensive whale-watching excursion with one of the area's top guided tour operators. Harbor Breeze and Spirit Cruises offer exciting boat cruises and educational outings where guests can spend two to three hours observing whales (and other sea life) as they migrate down the coast. Each tour operator provides its guests with the direction of experts and extensive knowledge on the whales’ patterns and habits, making each Long Beach whale-watching experience one to remember.

Best Time of Year

Long Beach is the perfect destination for a whale-watching trip, no matter the season. Onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of these incredible animals can count on doing so no matter when they visit, as whales tend to migrate along California's coast year-round. The Gray whale season runs from December through April as they make their way from Alaska to Baja California, and Blue Whales can be spotted from May through November. Whale watchers may see Fin Whales, Orcas, Humpbacks, and more on their journeys as well!

Know Before You Go

There are a few things to know before going on a whale-watching excursion. Those heading out on the water should make sure they are prepared and bring the essentials:

  • Water-resistant jacket and extra layers
  • Sunscreen and other sun protection
  • Boat shoes
  • Water-proof camera
  • Binoculars
  • Motion sickness aides for those prone to seasickness
  • Gratuity for your tour guide

For a complete guide on whale-watching, check out our Guide to Whale Watching in Long Beach blog here.