Whale watching peak season is here, and Laguna Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea are two of the top California spots to catch a glimpse of a tailfin, a spout of water from a blowhole or even a breech. Each winter, an estimated 20,000 gray whales travel the 6,000 miles from the chilly waters of Alaska to the balmy bays of Mexico. Come spring, when the water warms, the whales travel back north again.
In Laguna Beach, take a trip with Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari to experience these magnificent creatures in the wild on a 2.5 hour cruise, complete with knowledgeable marine naturalists, underwater viewing pods, and Mrs. Captain Dave’s triple fudge brownies served on every safari! Can’t make it this spring? Fin and minke whales can also be seen year-round.
Where to Stay: The Inn at Laguna Beach is a boutique oceanfront retreat just steps from the beach and downtown Laguna. The property a variety of oceanfront rooms revealing the sights and sounds of the Pacific. Or, two blocks north is sister property,Laguna Beach House, a 36-room surf lodge with a true laid-back California vibe.
Carmel-by-the-Sea’s uniquely cold one-mile-deep submarine canyon is a hotbed of whale and marine mammal activity. Thanks to the canyon’s offshore location and high vantage point, it’s easy to spot a whale from your car on the famous Pacific Coast Highway. Gray whales can be seen from January-April, however travelers can witness other species of whales throughout the year including blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales, minke whales, sperm whales, and orcas.
Where to Stay: Hotel Carmel opened May 2016 with 27 guestrooms and suites, half of which feature in-room fireplaces. La Playa Carmel is a 75-room boutique hotel that was built in 1905 as a private mansion for a member of the San Francisco-based Ghirardelli family.
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