With the Oyster Bar’s guide to the best places to observe orcas in the San Juan Islands, you can organize a free trip yourself or book a whale-watching tour at a reasonable price.
San Juan Boat Whale Watching Tours
According to San Juan Safaris, the sightings data collected for 20 years demonstrate a 90 % chance of seeing orcas in the high season, from June to September.
It is also a great time to see humpback and minke whales, Dall’s and harbor porpoises, sea lions, harbor seals and white-sided dolphins.
Whale watching tours start from Orcas Island, San Juan Island, or Lopez Island. The average prices range for a standard 3-hour tour is $ 109-139/adult.
You can find more details and pick the best tour operator on the Official Travel Site the San Juan Islands, Washington.
During this time, residential and migratory pods of orcas inhabit the waters and can be seen from many places. The following tips will help you to make your own whale-watching trip for free.
The Best Spots for Shore Whale Watching
Whichever the outcome of your San Juan orca quest, start or finish it at the Whale Museum, Friday Harbor. It boasts an impressive collection of artifacts related to whales.
With various educational sources – a whale gallery, museum, a gift shop – your whale watching experience will be more informed and enjoyable.
Lime Kiln Point State Park
Frequently nicknamed ‘Whale Watch Park’, Lime Klin Point State Park is situated on the hunting route of orcas who come very close to the shore while feeding with salmon. So there are many chances to see whales passing below from the rock cliffs.
Get the most from your visit and see other landmarks of the 41-acre park – the 100-year-old lighthouse and the remnants of the original lime kiln operation started 160 years ago when the surrounding area was quarried for limestone.
San Juan Island National Historical Park
With astonishing vistas of the ocean and grassland, San Juan Island National Historical Park is a must-visit place for hikers and landscape photograph enthusiasts. The Cattle Point Lighthouse constructed in 1935 is the highest and most beautiful spot of the park.
By walking along the bluff of the shore towards the end of the park’s windswept plateau, you will reach the lighthouse. In addition, the place is a comfortable platform for observing whales.
Westside Scenic Preserve
With 16 acres of spacious panoramic area, Westside Scenic Preserve is a natural gem itself. The preserve combines stunning field and marine landscapes.
Despite being the favorite haunting spot for local orcas, the Westside Scenic Preserve is a less-known whale watching spot. Yet, you can surely add it to your a must-visit places list in the Pacific Northwest.
Finish your day with a delicious local-style dinner at the Oyster Bar. Make a reservation 360-766-6185!