See The Whales In This Coastal Town Without Being On A Boat
All along the coast, the giant and majestic creatures make their way from their feeding grounds in Alaska to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula for calving, and then return months later. The voyage starts in October when the gray whales start swimming south, passing along the California coast. December through January is when the mammals are closest to the shore during this part of their migration.
The northern migration of gray whales, which generally consists of 20,000 whales, start in February and lasts through April. The whales, including mothers and calves, travel closer to the coast on the northbound journey, so this is usually the best time for whale watching.
One of the best places for whale watching is in the town of Pacifica, just 15 miles south of San Francisco. That is because here, you don’t need to be on a boat to see the whales. They come so close you can watch them from land.
The coastal bluffs of Mori Point, Rockaway Beach trail, Linda Mar State Beach, the Pacifica Pier and Devil’s Slide walking trail are perfect viewing platforms.
Pacifica has free parking, hotels and cool places for food and drink, among them A Grape In The Fog wine tasting bar and Pedro Point Brewery. You can learn more about these places and about Pacifica in general by tuning into the Virtual Happy Hour show, co-hosted by PubClub.com and MenWhoBlog.com.
A list of hotels with links is below.
Blue whales are not as common as gray whales, but there is an estimated population of more than 2,000 on the West Coast. The blue whale migration follows a pattern similar to the gray whales, but they don’t seem to travel such long distances, or travel so close to the shore. Blue whales are typically seen along the Central California coast, with Pacifica at the center of the action.
The humpback whales are very acrobatic. The population along the California coast is only about 800. Prime whale watching season for humpback whales is in the summer and fall, with the largest number of sightings along the Central California coast. For more information, check the Whale Watching calendar at http://abt.cm/1fD9FSN.
To ensure a great “whale of an encounter,”make a weekend out it. Most of Pacifica’s seven properties are located near the beach and within walking distance to restaurants, hiking and walking trails, the Sharp Park Golf Course, the Pacifica fishing pier and of course, one of the most scenic seashores on California’s north coast.
The largest property is the 97-room Pacifica Lighthouse Hotel, a full-service hotel situated on Rockaway Beach with spacious accommodations, beautiful ocean views, a swimming pool and the upscale Moonraker restaurant.
The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Pacifica provides very comfortable accommodations with ocean views and a complimentary hot Express Start Breakfast Bar.
Offering a dash of Victorian charm is the pet-friendly Inn at Rockaway and adjacent to Nick’s Restaurant is the Sea Breeze Motel, which is very convenient for those looking to dance the night away at Nick’s.
Located across from Linda Mar Beach is another full service hotel called the Pacifica Beach Hotel, which now includes several remodeled rooms with spectacular ocean view rooms, Jacuzzi tubs, indoor swimming pool and the Puerto 27 Peruvian Restaurant.
Further north, near Sharp Park, is America’s Best Value Inn Pacifica, which is a short walk from Pacifica Pier and the golf course.
And, newest to the scene, is the boutique Anchor Inn at Pedro Point, which is nestled into the Pedro Point hillside.
Travel Tip: For more information about Pacifica, log onto VisitPacifica.com.