Of course, the sight is spectacular even when you see just one or two. Read on for ways to make the most of your whale-watching vacation.
Getting there: Fly into Portland International Airport (PDX) and head 70 miles west on scenic U.S. 26 to Cannon Beach.
Scenic detours: Explore Tillamook, Depoe Bay, and the rugged river port of Brookings. Your main whale-watching route, U.S. Hwy 101, passes smokehouses, crab houses, pancake houses, espresso huts, and welcoming sea villages. For an ocean view hike, try the Neahkahnie Mountain turnout between mile markers 41 and 42.
For the best meal, hit Lincoln City’s BlackFish Café. Fresh and local offerings range from seafood-studded cioppino to salmon to duck breast.
Pig ’N Pancake (Astoria, Cannon Beach, Seaside) is an Oregon coast classic. Try the homemade banana pancakes with orange-pineapple syrup. Yum!
Pelican Pub & Brewery (Pacific City), a maritime public house, is a rare treat: an oceanfront brewery. Award-winning ales, pan-fried mahi mahi, and beer-battered fries will fuel you up for more whale watching. Or stay awhile and enjoy the wide-open views of Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda.