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How To Prepare For Your San Diego Trip If Your Traveling From Abroad

a large clock tower towering over a city at night

Every year, more than 35 million people visit San Diego. That’s no surprise — after all, the Bay area is home to fabulous attractions and unforgettable natural beauty. With at least 10 beaches in the region, there’s no shortage of spots to enjoy the fun and grandeur of the ocean. But the waters of the Pacific offer another special treat: whale-watching! With whales migrating in and out of the area all year, it’s easy to work a whale-watching trip into your visit’s itinerary.

Why Is San Diego Good for Whale Watching?

San Diego offers a perfect view for whale watching. Observers can take advantage of natural vistas just off the city’s Pacific coastline. Boat tours frequently travel from nearby marinas, allowing passengers to observe the whales from a safe distance. You can see the whales in all their majesty as they migrate, socialize and search for food. You may even see a breach or two. Think of the magnificent sight as a whale gracefully leaps up, then dives back into the water’s surface! It’s truly an unforgettable experience.

Besides the weather and ample water space, the San Diego Bay area is a great whale-watching spot for other reasons. The Bay has plenty of restaurants for grabbing a bite to eat after your cruise. If you’re up for more adventure, many attractions lie within a short walking or driving distance of the marinas.

What To Pack for Your Whale-Watching Trip

To get the most out of your whale-watching experience, you should come prepared. Next Level Sailing permits food and non-alcoholic drinks on board, so keep that in mind when making your list. Thankfully, you’ll only need to pack a few essentials:

  • Warm jacket or sweatshirt
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera

As this packing list suggests, you’ll want to dress in layers. Even during the summer, you may experience an occasional chill during the boating excursion. While you don’t technically need binoculars for your trip, they can enhance your whale-watching experience. Don’t forget to wear a pair of comfortable shoes while on board the yacht.

What Can You Expect To See at Sea?

Whale-watching season lasts the entire year in San Diego. Several different species travel in and out of the nearby waters. Gray, blue and humpback whales are often the first that come to people’s minds. The Bay area hosts these and other types of whales at various times of the year:

  • Blue whales in the summer
  • Humpback and fin whales during mid-to late-summer
  • Orcas in late fall and early winter, usually starting in November
  • Gray whales from mid-December until April

You may spot other kinds of marine creatures when gray whales are traveling through the Bay area: sea lions, bottlenose dolphins, sharks and sea turtles, to name a few. Humpbacks also reappear in the bay in November during their southward migration.

Exploring San Diego

We’ve already mentioned that the Bay area offers plenty of fun things to do. Besides the plethora of restaurants in the region, the Bay is also home to Seaport Village. The neighborhood hosts over 50 shops plus art galleries, cafes, restaurants and even a hand-carved carousel. Other notable attractions include:

  • The USS Midway Museum
  • Indian Trails Gallery
  • The Maritime Museum of San Diego
  • Balboa Park

A short distance away, you’ll also find the San Diego Zoo plus the UC’s Birch Aquarium at Scripps and the Living Coast Discovery Center. San Diego International Airport is also conveniently situated right on the bay.

Next Level Sailing

Next Level Sailing offers once-in-a-lifetime sailing and whale-watching experiences. Awarded the 2022 Traveler’s Choice Award, Next Level also offers chartered trips plus private dining and catering options. Be sure to book a cruise as part of your San Diego vacation experience.