10 incredible whale watching trips in the USA

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Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash

Last Updated on December 30, 2020

Unexpected interactions and incredible jumps are just a hint of what happens during whale watching. The habit of taking a moment to observe this mammal in its natural habitat can be considered as old as our species, but it only became an organized practice in the past century. In addition to being a recreational activity, whale watching today is an important tool for scientific research and a way to make young students learn about biology. Because of its large number of fans – around 15 million every year –this practice has generated considerable financial returns and jobs. So, if you want to know the best place for whale watching, you are going to make difficult decisions. Because below you have some places that will guarantee you the best whale watching!

1. San Juan Islands, Washington

The San Juan Islands are located in the extreme northwest of the United States, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and are part of the state of Washington. They were baptized by the same explorer who first mapped them: the Spanish Francisco de Eliza. The ideal period to visit it is from May to September, when you will be able to enjoy a wide variety of whales. The islands make up a great marine, aerial and terrestrial biodiversity and are famous for being the home of groups of orcas. This is even one of its main tourist attractions, along with the practice of sea kayaking. No wonder Lime Kiln Point State Park is considered one of the best places for whale watching in the world, in this case, wild orcas. The climate of these islands is very cool, and the highest temperatures do not usually exceed 21ºC. As natural points, they range from sandy and rocky beaches to large ports and reef bays. You can be sure that you will have many beautiful natural landscapes to take pictures of – in addition to the whales. Orcas, Humpbacks, Minkes, and Gray Whales can be seen at different points on the islands.

2. Bar Harbor, Maine

Here we went to the other end of the country. More precisely, for a peaceful place full of history and opportunities for your travel goals. The city of Bar Harbor is located on the east coast of the country and has a temperature that varies from -8ºC to 23ºC and is rarely below -17ºC or above 27ºC.

In this case, plan to visit Bar Harbor between April and October, which is when you will be able to watch Humpbacks, Finbacks, and Minkes whale species on different whale sightings. The main one is the Gulf of Maine because it contains the main foods of this animal’s diet — squid, krill, and plenty of fish. Another one is Acadia National Park, known for its rocky beaches. For those who like history, the Abbe Museum, a museum of the arts of the Wabanaki people, is also worth visiting. The Wabanaki people feature four distinct tribes — the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot. Do you still have doubts that Bar Harbor is a special place?
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