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5 Best Places to do Whale Watching on The Oregon Coast

There are many places where you can do whale watching on the Oregon Coast but to anyone who is new to the experience, in my opinion the best way to do it is via a boat tour and in this post I’ll show you 5 established places that do it and I will also be including none boat tour spots to see them from as well.

The big reason why I recommend a whale watching tour vs looking for them yourself is because these tours are run by people who know the best times and seasons to go out to have better chances of seeing them and because these tours are also (often) on a large boat, it’s also going to be a much safer experience. 

Here are the 5 best boat tours that do whale watching on the Oregon Coast:

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  1. South Coast Tours.
  2. Marine Discovery Tours.
  3. Tradewinds Charters.
  4. Dockside Charters.
  5. Whale research ecoexcursions.

3 of the choices above are actually located close to one another so you’ll have more choices in that particular area.

1) South Coast tours:

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Port Orford (Oregon Coast).


$75 for each person (1-2 hour tour).


South Coast Tours is in my opinion the best option for whale watching on the Oregon coast because not only do they actually do that, but also because you also get to explore the coast by kayak and in the process see some of the many Oregon coast sea caves. Personally I like these types of interactive activities much more than being on a large boat and if you like this sort of stuff too, then I would strongly recommend South Coast Tours (they also have other options like snorkling).

Stuff to see nearby:

  • Port Orford State Park (one of the best state parks in Oregon).
  • The town of Port Orford is also pretty nice.
  • Humbug Mountain State Park (good trails for hiking and mountain biking).

2) Marine Discovery Tours:

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Between South Beach and Newport (Oregon Coast).


$35+ (they do group tours).


This is also a very highly rated whale watching tour on the Oregon coast you can try. It’s more classic in terms of you going out on a large boat to see the whales, but at the same time there’s also a variety of other sea life you can see including sea lions, crabs and much more. I included a link to Marine Discover Tours so you can see their pricing and options.

Stuff to see nearby:

3) Tradewinds Charters:

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Depoe Bay.


$30 and up (the pricing rises depending on how many hours you do the tour for). 


Depoe Bay is actually very famous for being the spot to do whale watching tours from and it’s probably one of the most crowded for it and while there’s multiple companies that do whale watching tours here, Tradwinds Charters is one of the most highly rated and like the other companies on this list, do more than just whale watching. There is also crab and salmon fishing among other services offered (those are more expensive). 

Stuff to see nearby:

  • There’s a whale watching center in the area (good museum and info area).
  • Depoe Bay has a lot of restaurants and hotels in general to check out.
  • There are also some nice parks like Rocky Creek and Boiler Bay in the area.

4) Dockside Charters:

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In Depoe Bay as well (next door to Tradewinds Charters).


Also $30 and up (depending on the services).


This company is also equally as good as Tradewinds Charters and I added it to this list because not only is it close to the previous whale watching boat tour place, but it’s also a good plan A or B if the other one is filled up. The same kinds of services the previous one offered are pretty much the same ones Dockside Charters (whale watching boat tours and more). 

Stuff to see nearby:

  • The same exact places I recommended to check out near Tradewinds Charters also apply here.

5) Whale research ecoexcursions:

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This is also available in Depoe Bay.


$45 and up for every person.


This whale watching boat tour is also available in Depoe Bay but is more mixed in terms of a few things:

Stuff to see nearby:

  • Again, same stuff as in the previous 2 options (Tradewinds Charters and Dockside Charters).

Best places to do whale watching on the Oregon coast (without boat tours):

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If you don’t want to do a boat tour, there are options across the Oregon Coast where you can potentially see whales swimming closer to shore and they are honestly in the same places where most of the above companies host their tours:

  • Depoe Bay (specifically the Whale Watching Center is good).
  • Whale Cove (5 minutes south of Depoe Bay).
  • Newport.
  • Boiler Bay.
  • Samuel H Boardman Scenic Corrider.
  • Cape Sebastian Scenic Corrider (they also have a good hike like the Cape Sebastian trail, where you may see whales from depending on the season).

I would recommend the boat tours because generally speaking most of the whale sightings happen off shore and the people running these tours know where to go to get you there. Plus it’s better to be with other people/tours when you do these things because again it’s just a safer experience.

More questions about whale watching on the Oregon Coast:

When can you see whales on the Oregon Coast?

Nearly every single month is good for whale watching in Oregon but they do tend to swim closer to the coast around the summer-fall season which is when it’s usually better to see them.

What beach is best to see whales in Oregon?

Whale Cove and Depoe Bay Beach are some of the best places in Oregon to see whales from.

How much does whale watching cost in Oregon?

It usually costs $30 or more per person to do whale watching tours in Oregon. 

Related: More recommended things to do around the Oregon Coast!

1) Exploring more of the Oregon Coast! Whale watching is certainly awesome but this area has more to see and do!

2) Checking out some of the many hiking trails on the Oregon Coast too.

3) Staying at some of the top camping spots on the Oregon Coast.

All of these recommendations including which places to check out for whale watching are going to help you have an amazing experience in Oregon and if you have any questions about this topic or anything else related, let me know!

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