Washington State is no stranger to wildlife sightings. This little slice of paradise is home to over 500 species of birds, healthy herds of deer and elk, and thriving aquatic ecosystems. And during certain times of the year, we host some of the largest and most elusive creatures in the world.
Whale watching on the Olympic Peninsula should be an activity that everyone does at least once in a lifetime. During your next getaway to the Olympic Peninsula, take a detour to the coast and see how many whales you can spot.
The Best Time of Year to Spot Whales
Whales are a migratory species that follow the pacific coast during the spring and fall. While sightings have occurred anywhere from October through July, your best bet is to plan a trip in spring, specifically the month May.
Whales feast on anchovies and smelt who stay in the warmer waters by the coast for spawning during the spring. This draws the whales closer to shore and makes for some incredible sightings.
The Best Places to Watch on the Washington Coast
Damon Point is a popular destination for anything nature-related. This 61-acre spit is known for Bald Eagle and Snowy Owl sightings, unmatched views of the Olympic Mountains, and plenty of whale sightings. A relaxing hike around the spit is the perfect way to watch whales come in and out of the bay.
Olympic National Park
Kalaloch and Ruby Beach both offer easy access to Washington’s shoreline. A short hike to Ruby Beach rewards you with stunning sea stacks and perfectly smooth pebbles. Kalaloch is most well-known for the Tree of Life which rests exposed above a cave, perfect for explorations. Take a daytrip to these Olympic National Park beaches and have some fun while you watch for whales.
On the southern shores of Grays Harbor, Westport is a small fishing town that offers some of the best whale watching excursions on the coast. Westport is home to many fishing charters that provide guided tours for salmon, tuna, rockfish, dungeness crab, and even halibut. Ocean Sportfishing is one of the deep sea fishing charters that offers shorter sightseeing tours out into the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Resting atop the rugged cliffs of the coast, Seabrook is one of the best places to watch for whales. Take in panoramic views of the ocean from elevated vistas in the heart of town. Head down to Seabrook’s sandy beach, relax on a bench overlooking a shady glen, or rent an oceanfront home and spot whales from the comfort of your balcony.
Where to Spot Whales in Seabrook
A hidden gem in the Elk Creek Neighborhood, Overlook Park is a great place to spend an afternoon. With a picnic table and several secluded benches, you can find somewhere peaceful to sit and watch the ocean.
On the ocean’s edge of the Pacific Glen Neighborhood lies a small park. This spot peers north onto the coast and you can see as far north as Point Grenville on a clear day.
Seabrook’s iconic arbor welcomes beach goers to the sandy shores of the coast. Before you descend down, take a while to enjoy the views from this birds-eye location.
One of Seabrook’s most popular mountain biking trails takes you through dense forests to a secluded clifftop with perfectly unobstructed views of the ocean and the town. This trail is also friendly to hikers looking for a peaceful space to watch for whales.
An Oceanfront Home
Take in the views from your couch! Or walk outside onto your private balcony with your morning cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Many of our oceanfront homes have fire pits or hot tubs so you can relax and unwind while gazing at the ocean. Check out Seabrook’s oceanfront retreats today!
Fun Activities to do While Whale Watching
More of a fun pastime than an official sport, beachcombing is the art of searching for treasures on the beach. From dainty shells, agate rocks, and sand dollars that come from the sea to rare collectibles that wash ashore, there’s lots to uncover. A highly desirable treasure is hand-blown glass floats that have traveled across the ocean. You’ll have the best luck at finding something after a storm or at low tide.
Whale watching season just so happens to coincide with the spring shorebirds migration. Washington’s coast is positioned right in the heart of the Pacific Flyway which hundreds of thousands of birds follow each year. Birdwatching in Seabrook is as easy as a stroll on the beach. Keep an eye out for sandpipers and dunlin who are often spotted on the beach, and Golden Eagles that can be seen flying through the glen.
Stop by Brooklets Toys here in town for a wide selection of kites. From kites depicting your favorite animals to funky geometric shapes and everything in between, you can pick out the perfect shape to fill the sky with color.
Tide Pool Exploration
When the tide goes down, the sea creatures come out! On the rugged shorelines of the coast, you’ll find pockets of life tucked between the rocks. Purple, red and yellow starfish, spiny sea urchins, hard shelled limpets, anemones and crabs scuttling in the seaweed are just some of the delights that await you. Some of the best tide pools are located at Kalaloch and Ruby Beach.
Sand Castle Building
Seabrook’s sandy beaches are perfect for building sand castles. Small and soft sand grains allow you to shape, carve, and create anything you wish.
You’ll never run out of things to do here in Seabrook.
Whale Watching Tips & Tricks
Overcast days are ideal for spotting whales. While sunny days are always appreciated, the reflection of the sun on the ocean may make it difficult to spot whales coming up for air. Get up early before the sun cooks off the ocean mist or head out on an overcast day for better viewing conditions.
Seals, otters, and dolphins enjoy playing in the waves and shallow coastal waters. Sometimes seals even sunbathe on the beach!
Whale watching encounters are quick, so you may not have time to take pictures. Even if you can snap a photo, make sure you sit back and enjoy this mesmerizing experience.
Watch Whales From The Comfort Of Your Vacation Home
Whale watching can be as simple as gazing outside your vacation home. Seabrook Hospitality offers several oceanfront and oceanview homes with unbeatable views of the Pacific Ocean. Choose from colorful and cozy homes to sleek and modern retreats. Find the perfect vacation home for your getaway here.