With Washington’s abundance of water and forest come many wild creatures. One of the most emblematic is of course the orca whale or killer whale. As the largest member of the dolphin family, they are truly majestic creatures and absolutely worth trying to spot. Here are 5 of the best places to watch orca whales in Washington State.

Orcas whales are so much a part of the PNW that there’s actually a Whale Trail. It’s not an actual trail but rather a local non-profit that is all about educating the public about whales and also aiding in their conservation. They also happen to have a pretty sweet map that details some of the best places to watch for whales.

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Without further ado here are some of the best places to watch orca whales in Washington.

Alki Beach Park

Why not start with something close to home? It turns out you actually don’t have to go far to spot whales. West Seattle’s Alki Point is a great place to see whales during the fall and winter. This is when the southern resident pods return to the area but you can also occasionally see transient orcas throughout the year here.

Where: 2665 Alki Ave SW

Lime Kiln Point State Park


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Lime Kiln is actually regarded as one of the best places in the entire world to see orcas. The park is located on San Juan Island and is a great place to see the J, K, and L pods of southern resident orcas. The best time of year to see them is from May to September making it a great spring and summer road trip.

Where: San Juan Island

South Beach

South Beach is located within Olympic National Park and is just south of Kalaloch. It’s home to thousands of sea creatures with the beach’s water acting as a safe haven. Visitors can see orcas, grey whales, and even sea otters. You can visit it year-round but it’s particularly great if you happen to be camping in the area during summer.

Where: Olympic National Park

Shi Shi Beach


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Shi Shi Beach is known for its beautiful offshore rock formations, tide pools, grottos, and of course, plenty of marine and bird life. It’s a great place to explore the beach during spring and summer and of course, watch for orca whales.

Where: Olympic National Park



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Whidbey Island’s Langley is both a picturesque town and a great place to watch a whole host of marine animals. It even has its own Whale Bell at Seawall Park which encourages visitors to ring the bell if they see a whale.

Where: Langley

Happy whale watching!