Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast

Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast

Whale Watching On The Oregon Coast

Whale watching on the Oregon Coast can be enjoyed anytime of the year.   Although several species of whales might be spotted, the most commonly seen is the Gray Whale which migrates along the coast twice annually.

The whales usually travel within 2.5 miles of shore along 5,000 – 7,000 miles of coastline.  This route makes this one of the few whale migrations that we can see from shore.

Gray Whale Migration

Spring migration occurs in waves from January through June.  Adult males and juveniles, as well as newly pregnant females are the first to head north.  Mothers and babies stay in the lagoons of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula a month or two longer than the others so babies can gain blubber and strength before making the long journey north.

Fall migration southward occurs from October through February and is led by pregnant females who are eager to reach the warm birthing and nursery lagoons, followed by males, and other adult females.  Juveniles join the journey south, but some don’t even reach Mexico before turning around and heading north.

Resident Gray Whales in Summer

Some gray whales do not continue on to Alaskan waters but stay off the coast of Oregon between June and November. These part-time residents number about 200.

Whale watching on the Oregon Coast
Whale watching on the Oregon Coast can be enjoyed at anytime of the year.

Whale Watching Spoken Here Program

Seeing one of the largest creatures on earth surface offshore is an incredible experience.  Through the Whale Watching Spoken Here (WWSH) program, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) places trained volunteers at overlooks along the Oregon coast to assist visitors in spotting gray whales during their two major annual migrations in the winter and spring.

From north to south, there are  numerous Whale Watching Spoken Here sites in Oregon. With or without a volunteer to assist, these are the best locations along the coast to spot whales.

  • Ecola State Park (this location is just minutes from Inga’s Cottage)
  • Neahkahnie Mountain Historic Marker Turnout on Highway 101
  • Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint
  • Cape Lookout State Park – 2.5 mile hike to site at tip of Cape
  • Cape Kiwanda
  • Inn at Spanish Head  Lobby on 10th floor
  • Boiler Bay State Scenic Viewpoint
  • The Whale Watching Center/Depoe Bay Sea Wall
  • Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint
  • Cape Foulweather
  • Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area
  • Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
  • Don Davis City Park
  • Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center
  • Cook’s Chasm Turnout
  • Sea Lion Caves Turnout – large Highway 101 turnout south of tunnel
  • Umpqua Lighthouse, near Umpqua Lighthouse State Park
  • Shore Acres State Park
  • Face Rock Wayside State Scenic Viewpoint
  • Cape Blanco Lighthouse, near Cape Blanco State Park
  • Battle Rock Wayfinding Point, Port Orford
  • Cape Sebastian
  • Cape Ferrelo
  • Harris Beach State Park, Brookings, Oregon

Whale Watching Expeditions

Whale Research Eco Excursions

View whales in their natural habitat with Whale Research EcoExcursions. Guided daily excursions are led by Captain Carrie Newell and her team.  Captain Carrie Newell is a professor of marine biology and whale researcher.  Her research has been featured on Jean-Michel Cousteau’s show Gray Whale Obstacle Course.  Voted to the top 25 things to do in Oregon by Dream Vacation Magazine.  Daily departures from Depoe Bay are scheduled at 10:00 am, 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm  Book online here or call (541) 912-6734 to make reservations.

Dockside Charters – Depoe Bay

Dockside Charters runs whale watching excursions on a daily basis during whale watching season. Dockside Charters run Whale Watching excursions from  50 foot Delta Charter boats and are Coast Guard certified. Reservations for whale watching tours can be made by calling  541-765-2545.







Visit Hug Point

Visit Hug Point

Hug Point in Cannon Beach should be on your “must see” list during your visit to the Oregon coast.

Hug Point in Cannon Beach is a short 15 minute drive south from Inga’s Cottage, on U.S. highway 101.  It is a favorite among locals, and the best time to visit is at low tide.  Abundant sea life in the numerous tide pools featuring  anemone and starfish can also be enjoyed at low tide.


Tidepool at Hug Point
Tidepool at Hug Point

Erosion has formed caves in sandstone cliffs along the headland’s south side, which is also the site of a seasonal waterfall. The Oregon Coast Trail also passes though the park along the beach.

Imagine traveling by stagecoach along the beach.  Before the highway was built, the beach was the only way to travel along this stretch of coast.  North of the parking area at low tide you may walk along the original stagecoach road, still harboring the wheel ruts carved into the rock.  Pioneers traveling around this headland had to hug the point carefully, even at low tide. Thus, the point and the park are both aptly named Hug Point.


Hug Point
The falls at Hug Point

This 43-acre park has a large parking area and a sloping walkway to the beach. Hug Point State Recreation Site is administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.  The park is open to the public and is fee-free.

To plan your trip to Hug Point during low tide, see the tide tables here.


Drone Footage :  Clifford Paguio

Book Direct

Book Direct

When you book direct with the owner of a vacation rental, you can avoid  high service and booking fees,  saving money on your next vacation.

The word is out in the vacation rental community:  VRBO, AirBnB, and HomeAway charge extra fees to their traveling consumers usually called a “service fee”.   The service fee is often between 5 – 15% or more for most bookings.


Avoid VRBO Booking Fees
Book direct to avoid these service fees


Besides saving money, booking directly with the owner of the vacation rental provides travelers with an all-around better experience because they have intimate knowledge of the area and their property, and can provide “insider” information about their travel destination.  Furthermore, owners can better help their guests optimize dates and travel details to meet their needs.

Recently launched this year, Vacation Soup is a website that provides travelers with insider travel information around the globe with links to vacation rental properties that allow direct booking to avoid unnecessary extra fees that third party travel companies charge.


Book Direct and save on your next vacation in Cannon Beach
Book Direct and save on your next vacation in Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach Was a Filming Location of “The Goonies”

Cannon Beach Was a Filming Location of “The Goonies”

Cannon Beach was a filming location of The Goonies, an  80s iconic adventure and comedy film about a band of kids who live in the “Goon Docks” neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon and attempt to save their homes from demolition, and, in doing so, discover an old Spanish map that leads them on an adventure to unearth the long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willy, a legendary 17th-century pirate. During the entire adventure, they are chased by a family of criminals, who also want the treasure for themselves.

Do you remember being awed by the grandeur of the magical coastline in the scene filmed at Indian Beach?  Located at the north end of Cannon Beach, Indian Beach can be reached from Ecola State Park.  The entrance road of Ecola State Park takes visitors through a lush Sitka spruce forest to a grassy bluff with magnificent views of Indian Beach and the Pacific Ocean. This cliff is where the Goonies pull-up with their bikes during their search for the treasure hoarded by the pirate One-Eyed Willie.

Cannon Beach was a filming location of The Goonies
The bluff of Indian Beach is where this filming location took place in “The Goonies”

Some interesting facts about “The Goonies”:

  • Producer Steven Spielberg regularly references James Bond in his movies. In “The Goonies”, Data’s belt has “007” inscribed on it. He also listens to the James Bond theme before sliding on the rope over to Mikey’s.
  • This year will be the 33rd anniversary of “The Goonies”.
  • “Chunk”, played by Jeff Cohen and famous for “The Truffle Shuffle” scene, is now a successful entertainment attorney.


 Cannon Beach was a filming location of The Goonies
Data’s belt in with the inscription of “007”




Cannon Beach was a filming location of The Goonies
Action packed opening scene of “The Goonies” which includes a car race and truck rally on the beach

Haven’t seen the movie, but now you are curious?  No worries….we have a copy at Inga’s Cottage waiting for you to experience this classic flick that has become a favorite to so many.

Who has on their list  of their favorite childhood movies,  Steven Spielberg’s 1985 classic “The Goonies”?