Whale Watching in Dana Point

January 17, 2024

Whale Watching in Dana Point

Did you know Dana Point is officially The Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World®! And, has also been designated, to be the first Whale Heritage Site in the Americas by the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), the world’s largest marine conservation partnership.

Dana Point is the best location for watching whales year-round and because of that it’s always Whale Watching season there! Another fun fact, is that Dana Point has the greatest concentration of blue whales and dolphins in the world.

What sets Dana Point apart, is that the waters there see about 50 whales daily passing through during peak migration season. The migration of the gray whale begins in December and continues thru March, as they travel from the Bering Sea to warmer Baja waters, where calves are born. Experts have determined these gray whales travel so closely to the Dana Point shoreline, because they recognize the Dana Point Headland as a landmark of their journey.

The Festival of Whales in Dana Point was inspired because of the abundance and concentration of whale sightings there. It is the longest running celebration of the gray whale.

This year, Dana Point celebrated its 52nd Annual Festival of Whales. It is Dana Point’s most famous annual event, the celebration of the annual migration of the magnificent California Gray Whale. The festival is held in March, but whale watching excursions begin the end of December and run through April 1st. But whales can be seen migrating past Dana Point from November through early May.

Fun facts:

  • Dana Point has more dolphins per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
  • Over 450,000 dolphins inhabit off Southern California.
  • Dolphin stampede made famous in Dana Point
  • Year-round whales regularly viewed include: Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, and Minke Whales.
  • A myriad of rare whales and dolphins including Killer Whales, Pilot Whales, Sperm Whales, False Killer Whales, Dall’s Porpoise and more.
  • Once of the best places in the world to view the largest animal to have ever lived on earth: the magnificent Blue Whale.
  • Dana Point Harbor: best small harbor with quick and easy accessibility to open ocean.
  • Best year-round weather. Dana Point has moderate weather and mild ocean conditions year-round.
  • Underwater coastal canyons and large kelp beds within a mile of shore that provide rich habitats for numerous species of marine life.
  • Unlike other Southern California harbors, Dana Point has no towering buildings, oil rigs or large ships that distort the whale watcher’s sense of spectacular encounters.
  • Home of the world’s first and longest running annual whale festival– the Dana Point Festival of Whales, celebrating 52 years this year.

With such a beautiful setting and being the best place in the world for Dolphin and Whale Watching, I think you should pack your bags and come visit us in Dana Point! Book your stay now at the Ritz Pointe Paradise, our lovely condo, which is a short drive to Dana Point Harbor.