The animals generally travel in pods of two or three, but at the peak of the migration, up to a dozen animals can be seen together. Researchers estimate that some 20,000 gray whales make the 10,000-mile trip every year. It is also possible to see humpbacks and even an occasional Minke whale.
The key to whale watching is being at right place at the right time, and being patient. The easiest way to get closer to whales is by taking a cruise, and there are several companies in the San Diego area that offer this service. If hitting the waves is not your thing, consider hiking along the coastline at Cabrillo National Monument, Torrey Pines State Reserve and Birch Aquarium at Scripps for some great viewing spots. And keep an eye out for dolphins, too!