Places for whale watching in Los Angeles
Newport Beach (home to both the Balboa and Catalina Island ferries) has a number of competitively priced whale watching tours and, unlike L.A.'s popular ports, the majority are more than mere harbor cruises.
Newport Landing Whale Watching and Sportfishing ($16 half-price offer; 2hrs)
Davey’s Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching ($36; 2.5hrs)
The Fun Zone Boat Company ($10-$14; 45mins; harbor cruise)
Newport Coastal Adventure ($65; 2hrs)
Ocean Explorer Cruises ($26-$51; 2.5hrs)
Dana Point Harbor sits at the bottom of a bluff along an affluent stretch of the Orange County coast. Though cruises here can be a bit pricey, the whale watching is spectacular.
Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari ($20-$65; 2.5hrs)
Dana Wharf Whale Watching ($29-$45; 2hrs)
Harbor Boat Rentals ($350+; 4 person private charter)
Long Beach's Rainbow Harbor is a popular spot to take a stroll or to board a cruise. It's also home to the Aquarium of the Pacific, which offers combo museum and boat tickets through Harbor Breeze Cruises.
Harbor Breeze Cruises ($30-$45; 2hrs)
Island Trader Charters ($365; 4hrs; 6 person private charter)
Spirit Cruises ($7-$15; 1hr; harbor cruise)
Tallship American Pride ($36-$49; 3hrs; includes brunch or BBQ)
Home to chartered yachts, booze cruises and parasailing, Marina del Rey's cruises are more catered toward leisure than wildlife spotting. That said, you can still find a few boats in search of sea lions, dolphins and sometimes whales.
Marina del Rey Sportfishing ($35; 3hrs)
The Redondo Beach Pier always seems to make headlines for close-to-shore whale sightings. That's not to say you can just stroll out onto the pier and see humpbacks breaching or pods of killer whales swimming by, but Redondo is a useful destination for those looking to stay in the South Bay.
Voyager Excursions ($35; 3hrs; Dec–Apr)
All prices per person unless otherwise noted.
Looking for whale watching tips?
You’ve heard enough anecdotes about kayakers off the Redondo Pier paddling up to humpbacks and binocular-clad spotters watching pods of orcas off Palos Verdes—it’s time to go actually whale watching for yourself. Whether you’re celebrating the gray whale migration or embarking on a tour later in the year, here are five things you should know before leaving the marina.