Whale Watching Along the Sonoma Coast
The annual north-to-south gray whale migration along Sonoma County's coast peaks during the winter months, with good opportunities for whale-spotting.
That makes it the perfect time to grab your binoculars, pile on layered clothing, and set out on a search. You'll be looking for whales spouting water through blowholes, displaying their flukes (tails) as they dive in search of the tiny shrimp they eat (krill), or just hanging out.
There's something about seeing one of these beautiful and massive creatures gliding through the ocean that brings out a sense of wonder in spectators. You'll see tiny tots and regal elders alike shouting with excitement: 'Look, a whale!' or 'It's spouting!' People seem willing to wait endlessly to catch even a far-off glimpse of a whale, and the sight of one close to shore can make the day.
On weekends from January through Mother's Day, volunteers from the Whale Watch Public Education Program are at Bodega Head to answer questions and share their knowledge of whales and migration.
Bodega Head is part of the 17-miles-long Sonoma Coast State Park, where many beaches offer tidal pools, hiking trails, and awesome views. All the park's beaches are great destinations for a picnic, too; you can relax on the sand, enjoying lunch and the day, while keeping an eye out for traveling cetaceans. Download a Sonoma Coast State Park map or brochure.
Other wonderful locations to whale watch include Gualala Point Regional Park, the six public access trails at The Sea Ranch, Stillwater Cove Regional Park, Fort Ross State Historic Park, Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve, and Salt Point State Park.
And consider taking a whale-watch boat trip with an experienced company such as Bodega Bay Sport Fishing Center, Fish On Charters, or North Bay Charters. Learn more in our article, Bodega Bay: Boat Charters & Tours.
Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez.