Whale Watching in Oceanside

Did you know Oceanside is home to some of the best whale watching in San Diego? Not only is there a 1,942 foot long pier you can catch a glimpse of dolphins or whales from, but Oceanside also has a full-fledged harbor filled with boats that offer daily tours and charters for an up close experience out on the water.

Besides the fantastic accessibility due to our intimate harbor which offers direct access to the ocean, another advantage of Oceanside whale watching is that it is year-round! Thanks to our great weather and ideal location along numerous whale species migration routes, sightings are common throughout the year regardless of the season.

What You Can See

Gray Whales

Minke Whales

Humpback Whales

Fin Whales

All 4 species of Dolphins

Sea Birds

Sea Lions

Fin Whales

Blue Whales

Minke Whales

Humpback Whales

All 4 species of Dolphins

Sea Birds

Sea Lions

Killer Whales

Pilot Whales

Sea Turtles


Large Fish and Other Marine Life

We want to see your whale of a time on the Oceanside coast! Be sure to tag @VisitOceanside in your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #VisitOceanside for a chance to have your image featured!

Humpback Whale Oceanside Adventures
Dolphin Oceanside Adventures
Oceanside Adventures Orca



Oceanside Adventures offers a variety of whale watching excursions everyday! Tour operators have extensive knowledge of the whales and their migration habits and will happily share this information during the tour. Trips are 2 hours and are great for families, couples, private parties, and corporate events. This adventure is perfect for anyone and everyone that loves the ocean or the wildlife they may encounter.

Owned and operated by veteran Oceanside skipper Captain Joe Cacciola, The Sea Star is a private group charter boat offering charters for sport fishing, whale watching and floating marine science labs. For the late anglers and boat enthusiasts, they also offer burials at sea. We supply food and beverage service from the excellent galley on board.

Oceanside Adventures Catamaran

Shopping in Oceanside, CA - Girls Getaway - Captain's Helm - South O - Vintage

  • Flat shoes or flip flops, NO heels
  • Sunglasses
  • Brimmed hats
  • Sunscreen
  • Jackets or sweaters

It is important to remember that the temperature is always cooler out on the water, and the wind speeds are stronger. We recommend overdressing as you can always remove jackets if it’s too warm.

  • Oceanside Adventures Whale Watching Binoculars-0979Snacks and water – Be sure to double check with your boat tour or service provider on what food and drinks can be brought on board
  • Binoculars – Help crew members spot the wildlife, and get a better view once they’ve been sighted!
  • Camera – Be ready to capture the awe-inspiring moments! Camera’s with zoom lenses are recommended as boats are required by law to keep a minimum distance away from whales whenever possible (though that doesn’t stop the whales from swimming up to the boat on their own!)
  • Overnight charters will provide a list of extra items to bring for your extended trip

*Note: Most preventative measures for sea sickness must be taken in advance for them to be effective.

oceanside sail boat rentalsOceanside has an average annual high temperature in the mid to high 60’s, with summer months averaging in the low 70’s. With such a temperate climate year-round, nearly any day can be a good whale watching day. Be sure to check the weather in advance to help you decide what clothing you’ll need to pack for your trip out on the water.


*Note: Due to tide cycles and wind speeds creating rough waters, some scheduled trips can be canceled for safety concerns despite how nice it looks outside. Be sure to confirm with your boat service provider on the day of your trip that the conditions are favorable.

OCEANSIDE California


Sea Star Charters Sportfishing Oceanside Ca_web

Fishing in Oceanside

Oceanside is an angler’s dream, offering Sport-Fishing Charter trips daily out of the Harbor. In addition, Oceanside features two public fishing piers, the famous Oceanside Municipal Fishing Pier and the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier, both of which allow for fishing without a permit making them a hotspot for locals and visitors alike.

To learn more about fishing off the Oceanside Pier check out our blog on Fishing With the Family

Sailing Blue Water Charter sailboat.

Oceanside Sailing Charters

Oceanside has a rich and active sailing community, and the harbor is often filled with extended white sails, both big and small, as the boats head out for a beautiful day on the water. To experience what it’s like to harness the wind and cruise through the water consider booking a sailing trip or even sailing lessons with one of the many companies that operate out of the Oceanside Harbor.

Surfing Girl Waves

Surfing in Oceanside

Surfing is a way of life in Oceanside, and major part of what makes our community so special. With over 3 miles of beaches in Oceanside to paddle out from, consistent swells, and numerous local surf board shapers, Oceanside has often been referred to as one of the most consistent surf spots in the area. So much so in fact that our beaches host numerous surfing competitions including Super Girl Pro, the largest female surfing competition in the world. Whether you’re an experienced surfer in need of some gear to rent, or new to wave riding and want to learn how, Oceanside’s got you covered!