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Whale Watching in Puget Sound

One of the biggest draws here for tourists from around the world is whale watching in Puget Sound. The area is home to multiple pods, creating memorable encounters for visitors throughout the year.
We get questions from guests about whale watching near La Conner frequently. We've put together this small guide to help answer some of the most common questions we've come across.

Is Whale Watching Worth It?

Absolutely! Getting to watch these majestic mammals in action creates memories that will last a lifetime. It's an adventure that the whole family will enjoy and makes for great photo opportunities.

However, whales aren't always guaranteed to show up when you plan to go spot them. This said, there are several things you can do to maximize your chances, such as choosing certain times of the day as well as picking your location or which tour you go on carefully.

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When is the Best Time to Go Whale Watching in Puget Sound?

The best time to see whales depends upon the season and species, but there are a few guidelines that can help you plan your whale watching experience:

The best season is from late spring to early fall, especially from May to October.

During the warmer months, whales will be more active during the day, but aren't fully diurnal

There tends to be a surge of activity during the twilight hours (dawn and dusk).
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Where Can I Go Whale Watching?

While there are plenty of options available nearby, you ultimately have two choices to choose between. You can either try to spot a whale from the shore or book a tour.
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Whale Watching on Land

Watching from the shore is definitely the more budget friendly option, and it comes with its own set of perks.

There are plenty of beaches in the area, especially on Fidalgo Island, that can grant great vantage points to look for whales, but also give you a fantastic view of the surrounding area. This option can often bring about a serene, peaceful experience.
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Whale Watching Tours

You'll find a host of whale watching touring options near La Conner. The advantage of taking a tour is that you'll be able to not only get out onto the water near some of the most active whale paths, but also may be able to see a whale up close.

Most tours last several hours, so be sure and plan to spend a large portion of your day.

Are Whale Watching Tours Worth it?

They absolutely can be! The whale watching tours near La Conner are led by experienced guides who have years of experience to draw upon. Some of the tours have quite a high sighting percentage on their tours, some touting over 95%.

This said, keep in mind that even the best tours can't guarantee a whale sighting 100% of the time. Many companies will offer a hefty discount or a complimentary second outing should your tour not find a whale.

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What to Look For When Watching For Whales

If you've never been whale watching before, it's difficult to know what to look for. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are out trying to spot these marine mammals:

  • Look for stopped boats out on the water. Finding tours that are watching for whales can be a great way to spot one.
  • It's common to mistake driftwood or logs for whales. Marine mammals are on the move almost constantly. If's floating and not moving, it's probably not a whale
  • Dorsal fins and tail flukes are telltale signs of whales.
  • Look for spouts or blows. These whale exhalations can look like puffs of smoke.
  • Be patient. Whales can dive for quite a long time. If you see a spout or a huge splash, keep an eye on that area.

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Need More Information?

For suggestions and recommendations, feel free to give us a call at your convenience. We're happy to help.
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