Whale Watching San Juan Islands

Where Do You Go? When?


If you want to go whale watching in the San Juan Islands, you may find these tips handy. This is where to go orca whale watching, the most likely places to see whales, and suggestions for times (seasons) to go.

Like most animals, Orcas don't keep any sort of schedule. They are most visible during the summer season, beginning some time in late April and continuing through about mid-September. During those months, watch for them anywhere along the west side of San Juan Island, particularly at Lime Kiln Point State Park, a place that is almost synonymous with San Juan whale watching.

As it happens, there is growing interest in land-based whale watching, where you have the benefit of viewing whales without impacting their behavior as occurs with motorized whale watching cruises. Perhaps the popularity of land-based whale watching is steadily increasing as we begin to understand and acknowledge our impact on whale behavior. In any case, land-based observation is a rich experience that will stay with you always.

Remember that all environmental stressors impact the health and well being of these San Juan Island resident whales. In choosing how you view this amazing species, let your conscience be your guide.

In general, the entire west coast is great for whale sighting, with Seattle whale watching trips commonly advertised. If you read closely, however, you see that tours begin in Seattle but cruise through the Islands, because this is where the whales are! Your best plan would include either a visit to Lime Kiln Point State Park, or a kayak tour or rental. It will be an unforgettable adventure.

Check out the whale watching in Santa Barbara, a place where you can see whales nearly all year long!

Return to Simply San Juan from Whale Watching San Juan Islands.


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