Late March to early April is said to be the peak time of year to view whales in the Pacific Ocean along the Northern California coast. With the weather warming up, beach trips could be a lot more exciting with the arrival of some of the largest animals on the planet.

Gray whales migrate from breeding grounds in the Gulf of Mexico to the nutrient-rich waters near the Alaskan Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. As they make this 5,000-mile long journey, they can be seen from San Francisco down to Monterey, breathing and sometimes even breaching just offshore. There are also whale watching companies such as San Francisco Whale Tours in SF and Sanctuary Cruises at Moss Landing in Monterey that offer boat trips to get closer looks at these majestic creatures. Whale watchers could see humpbacks, a pod of orcas, or female gray whales with their young calves.

Last year in the Bay Area saw some of the highest viewings of whales ever. During 37 trips with the Oceanic Society, naturalists verified the most sightings on record for its public whale watching trips. It saw a total of 232 blue whales (six per trip) and 825 humpback whales (22 per trip).