Guide to Whale Watching in February

March 17, 2024

Here are a few travel tips if you are interested to do whale watching.

Whether you are interested in San Diego corporate team building, a family outing, or a romantic excursion, whale watching is a great choice. It is an entertaining, educational activity that is appropriate for adults and children alike. There are many different ways to go whale watching, but one of the best is to take a whale-watching tour.

Whale watching
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Guide to Whale Watching in February

    Is February Good for Whale Watching?

    The coast of San Diego, approximately 70 miles long, lies along the migration routes of several species of whales. Because not all migrations happen at the same time every year, the chance of seeing whales on a whale-watching excursion is very good at any time of the year. However, February is the peak of one of the largest whale migrations in terms of the number of animals on the move. Therefore, it is often recommended as the best time for whale watching.

    Don't be put off by the fact that February is in the middle of winter. Because of its southerly position and location along the coast, San Diego has mild weather during most of the year. In February in particular, it typically only rains seven days out of 28. 

    In other words, the chances are one in four that it will rain on the day of your whale-watching tour. The average high temperature is 66 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that this is one of the best things to do with grandparents if planning a multigenerational excursion even if the grandparents are sensitive to cold.

    What Whales Will You See in February?

    There is a chance that you could see humpback whales if you take your trip during February. Humpback whales migrate from November to May, and while February isn't really the peak of the humpback seasonal migration, there is still a possibility that a few may be passing through. There is also a good chance of seeing dolphins, which are smaller cousins of whales and spend most of their lives in the same waters rather than migrating.

    But the biggest draw, the reason why February is often recommended as the best time for whale watching San Diego, is the gray whale migration. Every year, approximately 20,000 individual gray whales travel south from their feeding grounds near Alaska in winter down to warmer waters off the coast of Mexico to give birth to their offspring. 

    As the weather warms, they migrate north again. In February, they are about halfway through their journey and typically along the San Diego coast again. Not only do you have a very good chance of seeing adult gray whales in February, but it is also possible that you could see one of the newborn babies.

    What Exactly Are Gray Whales?

    Gray whales are baleen whales, meaning that they feed on microscopic sea creatures rather than hunting and eating fish. Because they don't eat fish, they don't have teeth. Instead, they have a baleen that consists of many bristles. When they take a big gulp of water, the tiny sea creatures they eat get caught in the baleen, allowing the whales to feed. Gray whales can weigh up to 60,000 pounds and be 49 feet long.

    February is a short month, so book your whale-watching tour as soon as possible.

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