Spot migrating gray whales at Cape Perpetua, the highest point on the Oregon Coast. (Image credit: Greg Vaughn)

It’s spring break for the gray whales on the Oregon Coast as they start their swim north to summer waters. The 12,000 mile-journey that starts in Baja Mexico and ends in the Bering Sea lasts from March through June. Among the 19,000 swimmers that pass the coast each year are moms with their new babies.

Oregon’s Whale Watching Center has identified 22 places to spot a spout in Oregon from Harris Beach State Park near Brookings to Ecola State Park north of Cannon Beach. During Spring Whale Watching Week, March 23-30, 2013, volunteers will staff those sites to answer questions and help people scan the horizon for whales. Last year, nearly 900 whales were spotted during the spring watch.

For a closer look at the 45-foot, 40-ton creatures, book a charter boat from one of the many companies along the coast. What to look for when you are out on the water: the blow, the breach, the dive and the spyhop.

Not all gray whales migrate past Oregon during the spring. Several hundred resident whales stick around for the summer, which is another great time to visit the Coast in search of the great gray giants.

About the Author: Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.

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