It’s whale migration season, and that means people are crowding onto charter boats and ocean cruises to spot the whales. But smart travelers know whale watching can be free, if you know where—and when—to look.
You can see gray whales off the Oregon coast practically all year round but, in the spring, as many as 18,000 of them migrate from Baja, Mexico to Alaska.
Around June, you may see even more—there are some whales that don’t continue north, but instead become temporary Oregon residents.
On the west side of Washington’s San Juan Island, check out Lime Kiln Point State Park. This is one of the best places in the world to watch whales without even getting on the water!
There are three pods of Orcas that tend to cluster here between May and September.
But you really can’t beat Hawaii when it comes to seeing whales from land. The humpbacks are so massive that you can often see them miles away in the National Marine Sanctuary, especially between December and May.
Keep reading for more travel tips.