Laguna Beach is situated between the harbors of Newport Beach and Dana Point, two of the best whale watching locations in Southern California. You’ll want to drive north on Pacific Coast Highway towards Newport Harbor at our departure location on Balboa Island. It’s a short and scenic drive, and you will have the added bonus of a cruise through the stunning Newport Beach Harbor.
When leaving from Newport Harbor, we often look off of Laguna Beach for whales and dolphins, as it is a prime strech of coastline for the animals to feed and migrate past. The deepwater shelf exists about 2 miles offshore, where depths quickly fall from 300 feet to over 1,500. Laguna and Aliso Canyon are hotspots where we usually can find large pods of feeding dolphins, and sometimes even a blue whale. The sandy beaches from 1,000 Steps to the Montage Resort are also a favorite place for gray whale mom and babies to play during the Spring months.
More Laguna Beach Fun
Before or after your whale watching adventure, Laguna Beach offers a wide range of sporting, shopping and sightseeing activities.
Enjoy surfing or kayaking on the ocean, or a relaxing hike past Barbara’s Lake in Laguna Canyon Wilderness Park. Heisler Park is another beauty spot with amazing cliffs, flowers and palm trees on one side and the majestic Pacific Ocean on the other. La Vida Laguna is a popular company which offers kayaking tours right from the beach!
Scuba Diving is another popular activity in Laguna Beach, offering protected beaches like Shaw’s Cove and Crescent Bay for easy entry and beautiful kelp forests. In fact, most of Laguna Beach is a Marine Protected Area, making for great viewing opportunities of large fish species such as Sheephead, Calico Bass, and even some Leopard Sharks. Give Laguna SeaSports a call if you’re interested in renting gear.
Almost every day on our trips we view sea lions with orange tags on the flipper. That’s because they’ve visited the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and you can too! Located in Laguna Beach, the PMMC rehabilitates seals and sea lions that have fallen ill or been harmed by man made factors. Open the public, you can see recovering seals and sea lions up close. Check their website here: http://www.pacificmmc.org/
Laguna Beach is also home to dozens of art galleries, great shopping and dining opportunities, and live entertainment at Hotel Laguna, the Forum Theatre and the Laguna Playhouse.
Ready for a Laguna Beach whale-watching quest? Schedule your voyage with Newport Coastal Adventure