Whale watching along the Pacific Coast is easy in a camper van.

Go Whale Watching

Thar she blows!

Spring is the perfect time of year for whale watching up and down the west coast. Here we’ve put together a few tips and suggested destinations. You’ll have a whale of a tale to tell.

Look for the spout. 

Unless you’re lucky enough to spot a breach or a fluke (the distinctive tail), the most you’ll often see is the misty spray from a whale’s blowhole and perhaps the curve of its back as it dives underwater. Look for a sudden vertical puff of mist and then yell “thar she blows!”

Scan slowly. 

Watching whales can be like watching shooting stars. The harder you look in one place, the easier they are to miss. Relax your eyes and slowly scan the ocean from left to right, then back again. Look closer to shore, out on the horizon and in between. And get out your  binoculars.

Be patient. 

Head out knowing that it could take up to an hour or more to see a whale – if you see one at all. But remember, if you play it right you’ll be parked along the ocean perched in your GoCamp van with yummy food and beverages at the ready. Jessica Smith, pictured below, was smart. She decided to watch for whales from the comfort of the pop top.

A girl goes whale watching in  a rented camper van.
Where to go? 

In Big Sur or Monterrey Bay, California you can whale watch year-round. In Oregon spring is the best time to view the annual gray whale migration. Check for dates for this year’s Whale Watch Week. During Whale Watch Week volunteers staff state parks along the coast to help visitors spot the passing grays. And in Washington, starting in mid-April, you can look for orcas on the aptly named Orcas Island, in the San Juan Islands.

A girl walks to a vista point to go whale watching on the Oregon coast.

Pick up a GoCamp camper van in Oregon for your Pacific Northwest adventure. Or grab one in California to hit the iconic coastal highway. To reserve yours today, simply click here.

Photo credit: Shawn Linehan