Reasons You Shouldn't Miss Whale Watching in Santa Barbara

InvitedHome's ~ Complete Guide

Whale-Watching in Santa Barbara

It's Santa Barbara Whale-Watching Season ~ No Matter The Season

If you always wanted to go on a whale-watching tour, there’s no better place to do it than Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara whale-watching season is pretty much anytime of year. But there is one caveat. You must decide what species of whale you want to see most. Not all migrations take place at the same time. So if you’ll forgive the pun, let’s dive a little deeper.

Gray Whales

You Won't Wanna Miss ~ The Cuteness Show

These guys are primarily around the Santa Barbara area in the winter and spring. But there is an even further distinction with this particular species. There are both southern and northern migrations that run from about November to June. But we know what you really want to see: the mothers with their calves. So if that’s the case, March through May is the best time to head to Santa Barbara. Enjoy the cuteness show.

Cms grey whale

Blue Whales

Just Like Us ~ These Whales Like Their Water Warm

Like humans we suppose, these mammals like their water warm. So the best time to catch a glimpse of Blue Whales in Santa Barbara is usually from late May all the way through September. Plus, you can sneak in some rays while searching for them on a whale-watching boat tour.

Cms blue whale

Humpback Whales

Take Your Tour On Wednesday ~ And Redefine Hump-Day

One of the more distinctive body types in the whale family, with their long fins and odd head shape, their migration around Santa Barbara is similar to Blue Whales. But with the added luxury of lasting a little longer, as they tend to start earlier.

Cms humpback whale

Killer Whales

Your Best Chance To See One Is April and May ~ Just Don’t Get Too Close

Looking to satisfy that savagery streak? Well, the great thing about Orcas is that they tend to be around all year round. Your best chance to see them however is probably April and May. Just don’t get too close. They tend to be rather hungry most of the time.

Cms killer whale

Is That It?

Everything from Finbacks ~ To The Elusive Sperm Whale 

There are many other species of whales you can watch in the Santa Barbara area of course. Finbacks are a summertime whale, and they’re quite graceful to see. Minke whales always seem to be in the area, while Sperm whales tend to be more elusive. The best time to catch one those is October through February. Just don’t get your hopes up too, too high.

An Aquatic Paradise

If Whales Aren't Your Thing ~ That's Okay Too

There’s plenty of other sea animals lingering around when you take a Santa Barbara whale-watching tour. Chances are you’re going to see a common dolphin at some point. But for the true dolphin aficionados, Bottlenose dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, Pacific White Sided dolphins – and even Dall’s porpoises – all linger around the area depending what season you arrive. And of course there are plenty of seals and sea lions just lying around.

So Many Choices

Pick Your Species ~ Then Pick Your Tour

A couple we can recommend are the Condor Express and Captain Jack’s. You can even get a view from above and cover more space with Santa Barbara Helicopter Tours. Just prepare accordingly for whatever season you choose. In the winter, it gets really cold out on the water. Bundle up. Warmer months, trust us, you’ll want plenty of sunscreen. And if you’re bringing the kids, also bring some entertainment. There definitely can be some lulls between spotting one of these majestic creatures. But regardless, Santa Barbara whale watching can’t be beat. That’s why you need to beat feet and get here soon.

Still Have Questions?

We have answers. Please don’t hesitate to contact a live InvitedHome vacation consultant via call or chat and we’ll make sure you have all the information you need. We’re always here to help.

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