Perched on a seawall with expansive ocean views and a large viewing deck, the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay is the perfect spot to see whales. Park staff and volunteers are ready to answer your questions and help you spot whales and other marine life. The center is equipped with binoculars for visitors, and displays feature facts about whales and information on what swimming patterns you might see.
During the busiest weeks, thousands of gray whales migrate past on their way to and from the waters of Alaska and Mexico. We keep watch all year long; you never know what might swim by. We also see humpback whales, orcas, dolphins, porpoise and even blue whales.
In the winter we watch nearly 20,000 gray whales from mid-December through mid-January as they travel south to the warm lagoons of Baja Mexico.
Spring watching begins in late March as the gray whales travel north on their way towards Alaska, calves in tow. The first surge swims by around the end of March, and we watch the north-bound whales all the way until June.
Summer and fall brings resident whales close to shore to feed from June to mid-November. Depoe Bay is a hot spot for whales looking for food this time of year. We consistently see between 5 and 15 whales every day!
The center is home to the Whale Watching Spoken Here volunteer program, which sponsors the winter and spring break Whale Watching Weeks. The 2021 spring Whale Watching Week is canceled due to COVID-19.
A gray whale breaching in front of the Whale Watching Center (September 2016)
Purchased from the City of Depoe Bay March 4, 2008, for $97,522. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places March 7, 2012. The only state wayside constructed during the postwar period designed to serve the rapidly increasing ranks of the motoring public, while taking advantage of a unique scenic vista—the world’s smallest navigable harbor at Depoe Bay.