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WHALE WATCHING IN SANTA BARBARA

July 20, 2022

 
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One of the Best Places in the World to Spot Marine Life, Including Whales

Hop aboard a whale-watching vessel and experience an up-close and personal connection with the largest mammals on earth. The Santa Barbara Channel is one of the best places in the world for spotting whales due to our nutrient-rich water. And we’re not only talking about whales here. Spotting dolphins is a daily occurrence, along with porpoises and other amazing creatures.

A huge whale tail out of the water

Image courtesy of the Santa Barbara Sailing Center

Pacific Grey Whales

Every year whale watching in Santa Barbara begins in late November when Pacific gray whales migrate through the Channel on their 12,000-mile journey from the frigid waters of Alaska to the temperate waters of Baja California. Gray whales can reach 25 feet in size and are easier to see out on the water than more elusive, deep-water whales.

“Seeing these animals out in their natural habitat, up close and personal, is really something you have to experience yourself to fully appreciate,” says Skip Abed, the owner of the Santa Barbara Sailing Center. “It’s a great way to get out on the water and appreciate the beauty of what we have here in Santa Barbara.”

Humpback Whales

Reaching lengths of up to 60 ft. and weighing as much as 79,000 pounds makes the humpback whale one of the largest known species alive today. In the late spring through early fall, humpbacks migrate from cold climates near the northern and southern polar hemispheres toward warmer tropical climates, making an appearance off our shores on the way back and forth traveling as much as 16,000 miles per year.

Whale Watching Tours

There are several local companies that offer whale watching tours in Santa Barbara.

A sailboat and a whale in sata barbara

Image courtesy of the Santa Barbara Sailing Center

  • Santa Barbara Sailing Center
    How does spotting whales from the deck of a sailboat sound to you? That's just what Santa Barbara Sailing center offers from their 50-ft. catamaran, the Double Dolphin. Silently slip through the waves to get as close as possible to whales without being noticed. Reservations are necessary for this extraordinary cruise that runs seven days a week.

  • The Condor Express
    The Condor Express is one of the few companies that offer year-round whale-watching tours and guarantee passengers will see something amazing or receive a Whale Check for a future trip. The captains of the company’s eco-friendly, 75-foot catamaran know just where to go to view extraordinary sea life in their natural habitat. There’s plenty of room on this state-of-the-art vessel that features in-cabin and upper deck seating for up to 120 passengers.
Boat in the ocean with whale coming out of the water in front

Image courtesy of Sunset Kidd

  • Sunset Kidd
    Be one with migrating whales from the deck of a private sailing yacht. With a maximum capacity of 15 passengers, this tour is a more intimate way to witness whales in their natural habitat. From the deck of a 41-foot yacht, you'll sail alongside giant California gray whales as they break the surface, allowing you to see the whales while listening to the Pacific Ocean lapping up against the boat.

  • Captain Jack’s
    Captain Jack’s four-and-a-half-hour trip off the Santa Barbara coast offers a stunning look at several species of whales including blue, humpback, gray, and killer whales. Board a 75-ft. catamaran and enjoy beer, wine, and snacks while watching the beauty and grandeur of the Pacific's most majestic creatures.
A yacht with a party on board

Image courtesy of Celebration Cruises

  • Celebration Cruises
    One-third of the marine mammals in the world can be spotted in the waters off the coast of Santa Barbara, and Celebration Cruises wants you to see them up close. From February to May, more than 27 species of whales share these waters with Celebration Cruises’ 46-passenger luxury yacht. You’ll also see sea lions and dolphins on this Santa Barbara cruise.

In Santa Barbara, it is also possible to see whales while enjoying the many leisurely trails along our scenic bluffs, the perfect vantage points to sit and watch for these magnificent creatures heading north or south.


Meantime, if you’d like to live in this haven for wildlife and are searching for a home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, please call me at (805) 886-9378 or send me an email at Cristal@Montecito-Estate.com. We can celebrate your real estate transaction by whale watching in Santa Barbara.


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“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

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