Millions of people visit the amazing marine ecosystem of Virginia Beach each year and they often come back year after year. Some of these people come just to ride the waves and some of them want to see the whales. They will stop by the whales’ pod watching during their tour of the waters. If you plan to go see the whales up close you should plan your trip several months ahead to get the best view possible.
The chances of you seeing whales or dolphins in Virginia Beach will vary from season to season. During a good season, whales and dolphins are sighted frequently from the boardwalk on the ocean front. You may even spot dolphins, whales and seals while walking along the Virginia Beach boardwalk. Other times it can be nearly as low as 35% when the whale sighting is down in the inner ocean.
The chance for spotting whales and dolphins off the Virginia Beach boardwalk increases when clouds block the sun. Cloud cover in summer means less sunlight and better whale viewing conditions. The whales tend to be closer to the shore when clouds block the sun and move closer to the offshore beaches where they enjoy feeding. Be sure to take a hiking adventure into the Back Bay Wetlands if cloud cover forms because the waters will feel cooler and the whales will be closer to the beach. There is always the chance to view the whales from shore when conditions are good, but only if there is no chance of clouds blocking the sun.
The whales return to the atlantic each year in September. In addition to whales and dolphins, the atlantic also features harbor seals, sea turtles, and, of course, humpback whales. This brings a different type of vacation experience. While it may be possible to see the whales at any time, observing them close up in winter is one of the most exciting times of the year. It’s also one of the few times during which you have a chance to get up close and personal with the whales.
To prepare for this excursion, pick up a variety of tips for whale watching trips. First, if weather is a factor, try not to use a boat. It’s much easier to see whales from the shore than from a boat. Even if you decide to take a boat to watch the whales, you’ll need to wear waders to protect your feet and stay dry. Bring along a waterproof camera to document the occasion for posterity.
If you choose to take a boat, don’t forget your camera! Take photographs and video of the whales as they pass by. At the end of the day, you’ll likely wish you had brought along a camera to capture the magical sight of the whales floating on the ocean surface in the morning, the whales coming ashore to feed at dusk, and all the whale exhaled mist as they return for the evening to lay their egg.