We found this place by accident and boy are we glad we did… Whale watching is a great way to experience the Los Angeles Ocean.
Last weekend I was headed out to walk along the Palos Verdes Peninsula with Dashing Danny (all my pals get nicknames). We chose a place to pull over at random but, while taking in the amazing view, we spotted a group of people on a terrace intently gazing in one direction and many of them had binoculars.
Curiosity took over and we went to investigate.
My initial suspicion was correct. They were all scanning the water for whales and while we were there, they spotted one.
Seeing an extra set of binoculars sitting on the wall, I politely asked if it was okay for me to take a peek and was given permission.
Except for a brief stint in Florida, LA has been my home for over 36 years and I have never ever seen a whale from the shore before and I lived right on the beach in Santa Monica for years.
While still amazed at our incredible good fortune, Dashing Danny and I noticed the terrace was connected to a visitor center.
A little more investigating led us to discover a small museum dedicated to whales, the history of Palos Verdes and Marineland.
The official name is Point Vicente Inrepretice Center. They are open daily from 10AM-5PM.
As usual I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking and point out some highlights.
Besides a real whaling boat from the days men threw harpoons by hand the museum houses an eclectic collection of whale related merchandise from back in the days before we hunted them to the brink of extinction.
Nowadays only the Japanese continue to kill them in large numbers and to reflect the attitude change in this country, volunteers sit out on the terrace and monitor the whales by counting all the whales they spot marking down the type, number and direction they travel.
To make viewing easier the posts on the edge of the bluff are numbered so when a whale is spotted and someone asks where the whale is they can say look out over number 25.
HOT TIP: Bring a comfortable chair and your own binoculars. The ones we looked through are provided by the center but whale sightings are rare and fleeting so it is best if you have your own pair so you don’t miss it waiting for someone else to give up the center’s binoculars.
The best chairs are directors chairs because they are comfortable and are high enough to easily see over the terrace wall.
Even if you don’t spot a whale this is a great place to sit, relax and take in a beautiful spot on our coastline.