Coachman Inn, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island

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About the Area

Whidbey Island Whale Watching

The natural wonders on Whidbey Island are one of the island's greatest draws, and whale watching is one of the outdoor activities that attracts the most visitors.

With the amazing size and grandeur of the whale, it is little wonder that many of the visitors to Whidbey Island plan their trip around whale watching attempts, wanting to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats

Oak Harbor is an excellent starting point for a whale watching adventure on Whidbey Island off of the coast of Washington State. The Coachman Inn provides comfortable, cozy accommodations that you'll look forward to returning to after a day in the salt spray and breeze.

While its impossible to "schedule" whale sightings—a whale does have a mind of its own, and we certainly don't understand these creatures fully—however, there are times and places that the whales have consistently visited over the years, allowing some confidence in general guidelines.

For example, the time you can most reliably hope to see gray whales is from the end of February into May and sometimes early June.

Orcas are also seen off of Whidbey, but they are more difficult to predict, as their patterns are more erratic. They swim back and forth between the lower Puget Sound and Whidbey Island with regularity, as well as wandering over the BC Canadian Islands, the San Juan Islands, and the Outer Coast as far down as California.

They are most often seen during the months of October through December. There is a group called the Orca Network that tracks any whale in the area and immediately reports the sighting on a website and via an email to all members who subscribe to the network.

Whidbey Island sponsors a "Welcome the Whales" Day in April, celebrating the arrival of the huge mammals. A 20-foot model of a gray whale, nicknamed Gary the Gray Whale, leads the annual parade, and other residents design sea-creature costumes to wear as they follow behind.

The gray whales feed on tiny ghost shrimp that are plentiful in the waters on the west side of Whidbey. As baleen whales, the creatures suck in large amounts of water, shrimp, and sand, and then filter the water through their baleen plates, consuming the shrimp and ejecting the water and sand in large plumes that follow them through the water.

The friendly Coachman Inn front desk staff will gladly tell you more about whale watching on and around Whidbey Island during your stay with them.

Before you check out the whales of Whidbey Island, check into the nearby Coachman Inn, where we have been voted Best of Whidbey Island for two years running and awarded the AAA Three Diamond rating, their highest rating for vacation lodging. To check availability, call the Coachman now at 800-635-0043 or click here.

Whidbey Island Marina

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