Zuma Beach Whale Watching, Malibu, CA
Zuma Beach Whale Watching
Whale watching is a popular tourist activity along the Pacific Coast from Washington to California, and it's no wonder. With some of the world's largest creatures migrating past coastal points, feeding near the coast and swimming in inlets, you'll fine plenty of ocean creatures to see.
Migrating whales come closest to the parts of the coast that "stick out" the furthest. Any place with "Point" in its name is a good bet, as are most of the coastal lighthouses.
Your best bet for seeing a whale is to scan the ocean's surface, looking for a spout (a spray of water). Expect it to spout again in the direction it's moving (south in winter, north in spring). They move about 5 miles per hour, or the speed of a child on a bicycle. Keep binoculars handy and once you get good at figuring out where they are, you can get a closer look.
Grey whales normally swim in a cycle of 3 to 5 blows, 30 seconds apart, followed by a three- to six-minute dive, and they often show their tail flukes just before they dive. If they're swimming just below the surface and you're high enough to see the water's surface, they may leave a "trail" of circular calm spots on the surface as they pass, making them easier to track.