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Winter Whale Watching



Did you know that Newport is home to some of the absolute best whale-watching opportunities on the Oregon Coast? You can watch whales spout, breach, dive, and spy hop from the shore or from a boat out in the Pacific Ocean! Whales can be seen from Newport and the surrounding area all year round, but two weeks of the year allow for a much greater chance to see the whales, and one of those weeks is in late December!


A pod of gray whales lives along the Central Pacific Coastline year-round, but an additional 25,000 of them migrate past Newport every winter and spring. From mid-December through January, the large group of whales swims down the coast from their feeding grounds around Alaska to breed in the warmer waters off Baja California, Mexico. Thousands of people travel from around the world to watch and study the whales as they pass through the area, especially during those two special weeks when the largest number of whales can be seen.


The best time for winter whale watching usually happens from mid-December to Mid-January, and the Oregon State Parks Whale Watching Spoken Here® program hosts a whale watching event during that time. This year, the Winter Whale Watching event will take place from December 28, 2022, to January 1, 2023. Since 1978, Whale Watching Spoken Here® has stationed trained volunteers along the coast at 24 locations to assist locals and visitors to view the whales. They’ll be equipped with spotting scopes, field guides, and a wealth of information about whales and a variety of other local sea life. Go to www.whalespoken.org for a complete map of sites and more information about where to watch the whales.

Whale-watching charters also provide another great opportunity to watch whales during seasonal migrations or at any time throughout the year. Charters allow guests to get closer to the whales, and the boats are able to move from one place to another, depending on where large concentrations of whales are at that specific time. Reserve a whale-watching tour with Marine Discovery Tours, Newport Tradewinds, or Newport Marina Store & Yaquina Bay Charters to get up close and personal with the whales.

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