Whale Watching in Virginia Beach

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Last updated: July 12, 2023

Virginia Beach is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, gorgeous weather and friendly residents. However, many people are unaware of the Virginia Beach whale watching tours available. Imagine observing both dolphins playing and whales gliding effortlessly through the open waters of their natural habitat, the Atlantic ocean! Whales love to show off no matter the season, but you can really find them flaunting themselves during the winter months! Much unlike humans, they seem to love the cooler water temps!

When is the best time for whale watching in VA Beach?

Virginia Beach whale watching is an experience not to miss. If you are interested in seeing whales, you will need to plan your Virginia Beach vacation for the winter months. December through March is the ideal months to see the enormous and beautiful beasts known as humpbacks, as these are the times that they are migrating through the area. Listen to their beautiful whale songs and watch them feed using their bubble nets. Fin whales are the second-largest animals currently alive on Earth, and they migrate through VA Beach during the winter months as well. Whales certainly can be quite the breathtaking sight to behold in person!

Virginia Beach whale and dolphin watching is sure to be the highlight of your trip. If your vacation is planned for the warmer months (and many are so visitors can take advantage of the beaches) you can still see playful dolphins. Bottle nose dolphins can be seen in the Chesapeake Bay area, as well as other places in the Atlantic Ocean. They usually travel in groups of about 12, but have been spotted in groups sometimes as large as 100. Truly a spectacular sight to witness!

The best months to spot dolphins are normally from June to early September. 

Virginia Beach whale and dolphin watching can be a great deal of fun for the whole family. To make your trip more enjoyable remember to dress warmly in winter. A waterproof jacket will be very important on your voyage. Dressing in layers might be a smart option as you can remove or add more clothing depending on the weather. Shoes with non-skid soles are also a good idea. Don’t forget your camera, and binoculars, as well as a pair of sunglasses for those extra sunny days. If you tend to get seasick, remember to take some Dramamine or other motion sickness pills before boarding. Keep in mind that these are wild animals in their natural habits so discretion is required.

Remember that there are no guarantees on seeing whales or dolphins on any given trip, though recent reports state there is about a 90% success rate in spotting them. Many tour operators will allow you one more ride if you do not see any whales. Why not make Virginia Beach whale and dolphin watching part of your next vacation?

About author:
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Steve Jones

Steve is a freelance writer specializing in technology, travel, health, and more. He can be reached at sjones@virginiabeach.com.

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