Where can I find whales?
Where do you go to find whales? Well, the easy answer is the ocean, but there are definitely certain areas along the Oregon coast that are better than others, whether it’s because of boats charters, viewpoints, or abundance of food for the whales.
Please note that we sort of defined our own north, central, and south regions of the coast since we couldn't find anything too official laying it all out for us.
Northern Oregon Coast
Astoria to Tillamook
The northern Oregon coast is home to some great cities such as Cannon Beach and Astoria along with amazing destinations like Hug Point, Neahkahnie Mountain, and other beautiful outdoor landmarks. That said, this area is one of the harder places to catch whales closer in to shore. While there are definitely opportunities to see whales, they might be from quite some distance or elevation, though whales have been seen close to shore near the opening of Tillamook Bay and even swimming in the Columbia River between Astoria and Washington state.
Want to see more of our favorite spots on the Oregon coast for whale watching?
Central Oregon Coast
Pacific City to Yachats
The central Oregon coast is widely considered to be the best stretch of coast in terms of whale watching. This region offers plenty of high places to view whales during the migration periods, but is also home to areas where gray whales tend to feed during the summer and early fall. This combined with the availability of chartered whale watching trips makes it hard to argue that you can have a better whale experience in any other part of the coast. Be sure to check out our interactive map to see all of the places we like to go to see whales in this region.
Depoe Bay is just the start. See all of our favorite spots by using the map below!
Southern Oregon Coast
Florence to Brookings
The southern Oregon coast offers perhaps the most unique whale watching experience in the entire state. Not unlike Depoe Bay, whales comes in close to feed in the waters just offshore in places such as Port Orford. Because of the unique geography of the region, you can go kayaking and stand up paddle boarding in areas where whales might happen to feed. Of course these are wild animals and regulations state you must keep a distance of 100 yards (probably not a bad idea considering the size and strength of a gray whale). In addition to these close encounters, whales can be seen from many viewpoints such as Cape Blanco.