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.

Updated 03/11/2024 ~

Spring break in Oregon is the perfect time to take a vacation from your usual routine and embark on an exciting adventure! The Oregon Spring Whale Watch Week begins Saturday March 23 through Sunday March 31st this year. Volunteers will be educating thousands of visitors about the migration journey of the gray whales at various sites along the Oregon coastline. 

The Oregon Coast is home to a diverse range of whale species that can be seen along the coastline during their annual migrations. During the spring in the last week of March, 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 in the waves is a truly unforgettable experience that you'll cherish for years to come.

Experience whale watching on the Oregon Coast during Oregon's spring break week and make it an annual event! Here are some tips for spotting whales and 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 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.

Gray whale fluke with water trailng from the back view.

Whale Watching Sites

Find whale watching sites at these locations, where trained volunteers will be on duty from 10am to 1pm during the OR Spring Whale Watch Week:

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

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

Tips for Enjoying Your 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 Coastline 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 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 spotting gray whales. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your spring break vacation on the Oregon Coast today and book your stay in a private beach house at Beachcombers NW.

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