Beachcombers NW

Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast: Spring Break Adventure

March 9, 2023

Categories: Oregon Coast

Gray whale tail with trailing water; called a whale fluke.

Spring break is the perfect time to take a break from your usual routine and embark on an exciting adventure. Oregon Whale Watch Week events will be hosted March 28th-April 2nd in person this year, for the first time since 2019! Volunteers will be educating thousands of visitors about the migration journey of the gray whales along the Oregon Coast. 

The Oregon Coast is home to a diverse range of whale species that can be seen along the coastline during their annual migrations. During spring break, in particular, you can witness the magnificent gray whales on their journey to their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic. The sight of these graceful giants breaching the waves is a truly unforgettable experience that you'll cherish for years to come.

In this blog post, we'll guide you through everything you need to know about whale watching on the Oregon Coast during spring break. We'll provide you with tips for spotting whales and introduce you to the best places to go for the ultimate whale watching experience. So grab your binoculars, pack your bags, and let's head out on an adventure you'll never forget!

Where to Go Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast

Close up view of gray whale spouting a huge spray of water.

Depoe Bay

Depoe Bay is one of the best places to see whales on the Oregon Coast. Known as the "Whale Watching Capital of the Coast," it offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, and the deep water channels close to shore provide a feeding ground for gray whales. Visitors can take a whale watching boat tour or enjoy the view from the Whale Watching Center.


Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda is another excellent location for whale watching. Located near Pacific City, it offers a dramatic setting with towering sand dunes and the stunning Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area. Visitors can spot whales from the lookout points, or take a boat tour from the nearby town of Garibaldi.


Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is a must-visit location for whale watchers. The area is known for its unique basalt rock formations and abundant marine life. Visitors can spot whales from the lighthouse or take a guided tour from the Interpretive Center.



Newport is a popular coastal town that offers whale watching tours and excellent views of the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can take a boat tour or hike to the viewpoints at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Newport also has an aquarium that showcases the marine life found along the Oregon Coast.

Gray whale fluke with water trailng from the back view.

Here are a few of the best locations for whale watching, where trained volunteers will be on duty from 10am to 1pm during the Whale Watch Week events:

  • Near Warrenton, OR: Fort Stevens State Park--Peter Iredale Shipwreck
  • Near Manzanita, OR: Neahkahnie Mountain Overlook
  • Near Oceanside, OR: Cape Meares Lighthouse
  • Near Depoe Bay, OR: Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint,  The Whale Watching Center, Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint, and Cape Foulweather 
  • Near Newport, OR: Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
  • Near Yachats, OR: Yachats State Recreation Area and the Cape Perpetua Turnout 
  • Near Florence, OR: Heceta Head Lighthouse
  • Near Reedsport, OR: Umpqua Lighthouse
  • Near Coos Bay, OR: Shore Acres State Park
  • Near Bandon, OR: Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint
  • Near Gold Beach, OR: Ophir Wayside
  • Near Brookings, OR: Harris Beach State Park

For more information visit the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay.


Tips for Enjoying Your Whale Watching Experience

Dress for the weather
The weather on the Oregon Coast can be unpredictable, so it's essential to dress appropriately for the conditions. Bring warm, waterproof clothing, and wear layers to adjust to the changing temperatures.

Bring binoculars and a camera
Binoculars will help you spot whales from a distance, and a camera will allow you to capture the moment. Make sure to bring a telephoto lens to get up-close shots of the whales.

Choose the right time of day
Whales are more active during high tide, so plan your whale watching trip accordingly. You can check the tide schedule online or at local visitor centers.

Stay aware of your surroundings
Whale watching can be an exciting experience, but it's essential to stay aware of your surroundings. 

The Oregon Coast is a prime location for observing migrating whales on their long journey. Gray whales, the most common species seen off the coast of Oregon, migrate around 12,000 miles round-trip from their feeding grounds in the Arctic to the warm waters off the coast of Mexico.

A trip to the Oregon Coast for whale watching during spring break is an excellent way to explore the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The stunning scenery, abundant marine life, and conservation efforts make it one of the best locations for gray whale watching. By following these tips and choosing the right locations, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable whale watching adventure. Remember to dress for the weather, bring binoculars and a camera, and be safe! So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your spring break adventure to the Oregon Coast today and book your stay in a private beach house at Beachcombers NW.

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