The Most Amazing Mendocino Whale Watching Trips

a mother whale and child floats through the blue water

Each November through April, the Mendocino whale watching season attracts spectators from far and wide. This coastal village in Northern California is ideal for experiencing the incredible migration of thousands of California Gray Whales as they make their way south from their feeding grounds in Alaska. Along the way, the whales do a swim-by off the Mendocino Coast, offering an unforgettable chance to see them spouting, breaching, and diving as they make their epic journey to the coastal lagoons of Baja, Mexico. This year, head to Northern CA and check a whale watching adventure off your bucket list!

Where to Go Whale Watching in Mendocino

The best time for whale watching in Mendocino will soon be upon us, so hurry and start planning your trip! Whether you plan to admire this spectacular event from the shore or on the high seas, you’re guaranteed the experience of a lifetime. Just don’t forget to bring your camera!

Charter a Boat

To get up close and personal with this breathtaking animal, be sure to take a Mendocino whale watching tour by boat. From December 26th through April 30th, All Aboard Adventures offers their SeaHawk charter boat to guests for an incredible two-hour excursion. Captain Tim is a seasoned professional who has worked out of Noyo Harbor for over 38 years, and will give guests current reports on whale sightings and migration information. Plus, at only $35 a person, you can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience without breaking the bank! 

Look-Out from Land

If you’re not keen on being at sea, some of the best Mendocino whale watching can be done right from the shore! There are tons of high-point locations along the coast that are ideal for spotting these beauties, including Point Cabrillo Lighthouse (located just 3 miles from our inn!) and Point Arena Lighthouse. These beacons are situated on land that juts out into the Pacific and are excellent places to view these magnificent animals. Here, whales are commonly observed just off the headlands and appear to almost to scrape the rocks as they swim close to shore. It is an amazing and memorable sight for Northern California guests and locals alike.

Attend a Festival

The beloved Gray Whales are also celebrated at a variety of annual festivals that host special events like walks, talks, and boat charters. At the Whale Festival in Mendocino, guests can spend an entire day admiring whale exhibits, learning about the species’ natural history, and enjoying delicious fare from local restaurants. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to spot the whales throughout the festival and can admire the beauty of these gentle giants like never before.

Stay at the Inns of Glendeven

When you begin planning your trip to the area, be sure to book your stay at our bed and breakfast in Mendocino. You’ll come back to a stunning room complete with ocean and garden views that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed after a fun-filled day of whale watching!

Torrey Douglass