The Best Time for Port Angeles Whale Watching

The Smithsonian Magazine names Port Angeles, Washington as one of the country’s top whale-watching destinations. Guests at the beautiful George Washington Inn near Port Angeles, may be lucky enough to enjoy whale watching with their morning coffee while gazing down from the inn’s bluff along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. However, to really enjoy Port Angeles whale watching, you will want to go on a whale watching tour to venture further out into their sheltered habitats of the Salish Sea and the San Juan Islands.

Port Angeles whale watchingIn planning your visit, you may want to know what is the best time of year for Port Angeles whale watching. From March until October the Great Whale Migration is in full swing in this area, as they pass through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A variety of whales make their annual trip from the warm waters off the Mexican coast to the summer waters around Alaska. Many choose to stay right here in the Salish Sea. On view, too, are the harbor seals, sea lions, and porpoises; but the stars of the show this time of year are the whales.

Types of Whales You’ll See

From the vantage spot of the bluff at the inn, even the novice whale watcher can distinguish the different whales – the Humpback, the Orca, the Minke, and the insurance company famous, Gray.

The Humpbacks are the singers of magical ocean songs as they migrate to their summer habitat. They are one of the largest varieties of sea animals ranging from approximately 42 to 68 feet in length and nearly 40 tons.  If you think you see a bus swimming right in front of you, you have seen a Humpback whale.

You will recognize the Orca for its beauty and its reputation as one of the water’s smartest animals.  This large black and white beauty is really a giant dolphin, a cousin of the beloved bottle-nosed dolphin. Orcas, who can swim at 35 miles per hour and who have distributed themselves all over the world, are always the stars of any Port Angeles whale watching expedition because they are so easily recognized.

The Minke whale is the second smallest variety of whale. These whales seem to enjoy watching the people watching them as cruise ships and excursion vessels take passengers out to see the whales in their natural environment.

Gray whales often look like barnacled rocks from the parasites on their skin. Traveling in pods, these whales were once on the endangered species list; but, because of international law protecting them now, are once again a viable species.

Get a Closer Look

If you want to get a closer look at the whales and leave the comfort of your premier accommodations, book a Port Angeles whale watching excursion. There are several options we recommend in our packages. Puget Sound Express, an Education Partner with the Center for​ Whale Research which is dedicated to the study and conservation of whales in the Pacific Northwest, has been offering whale watching excursions for over 30 years. The excursions begin in March with the advent of the Gray whale migration. In April, the company offers four-hour guaranteed whale sighting tours as well as an all day tour that includes a stop in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Puget Sound Express is well-acquainted with the “resident” Orcas and knows where to find them.

Did you know that these Orcas are named, and the crew will point them out by name? This company has 3 generations of experience on the water offering tours in the area, and George Washington Inn is pleased to offer special package pricing and benefits for our guests.

Plan Your Vacation Now

With Port Angeles whale watching season beginning, why not consider a trip to the beautiful George Washington Inn and book a whale watching tour to enjoy while you are there?  Let us help you begin your fantastic adventure by downloading our free Vacation Guide. From the historically reminiscent guest rooms and Mount Vernon-like atmosphere to the beauty of the nature surrounding the accommodations and the adventure of whale watching, this will be a vacation that you will never forget.

Take a virtual Puget Sound Express Whale Watching Tour now!