There’s no shortage of fun to be had on the Maine coast, especially during the beautiful and balmy summer months.
Whether you’re touring lighthouses, sampling scrumptious lobster mac and cheese, taking sailing lessons, or simply watching the sailboats drift by while you sip local wine on the beach in Adirondack chairs, Maine is a great place to get lost and find yourself.
However, you can’t plan a trip to the coastal areas of this northeastern state without including a whale-watching trip. When these mammoths of the sea roll in, prepare yourself for a truly enchanting experience. You can’t fully comprehend the size of the world’s largest sea creatures until you see them up close.
How do you prepare for the best possible whale-watching experience when you visit York, Maine? There are a few things you should know.
Best Time of Year for Whale Watching near York, Maine
Why do you visit Maine in the summer? To enjoy the coastal waters, of course.
The whales come for the same reason, migrating north and hanging out off the coast from about April through October, with activity peaking June through August. The warmer waters of summer invite all kinds of marine life to the region, giving whales plenty to feed on and a reason to bring their calves.
Whales commonly in residence during the summer months include pilots, minkes, and massive finbacks, reaching roughly 70-80 feet long. The occasional North Atlantic or blue whale has been known to make an appearance as well.
However, you’re most likely to observe humpback whales, as hundreds flock to the area each year. These friendly, curious, and fun-loving whales are known for putting on a show, with displays like fin-slapping, lobtailing (slapping flukes on the surface of the water), and even full breaches.
Best Local Whale Watching Tours
While you could rent a boat and go solo for a day of whale watching, you’re better off booking a tour for whale watching near York, Maine, for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, experienced tour guides are on the water every day, and they know the best spots to find whales.
Perhaps more importantly, however, these seasoned guides know the rules. Did you know that federal regulations require boats to stay a certain distance away from whales, and this distance can vary by species? In addition, guides know how to keep both passengers and wildlife safe so that everyone can enjoy the experience.
When seeking opportunities for outstanding whale watching near York Beach, Maine, both Granite State Whale Watch and First Chance Whale Watch offer a range of tours, environmentally-friendly practices, and safety protocols that observe all laws and guidelines.
Tips to Get the Most from Your Whale Watching Experience
Preparedness is the key to having a great whale-watching trip, and there are several ways you can get ready for the experience of a lifetime.
Prevent Motion Sickness
Even if you don’t typically get nauseous in cars or other vehicles, a choppy day on the water could make anyone a bit queasy, and you’re likely to be stuck on the boat for several hours.
If you think there’s the slightest chance of motion sickness, make sure to patch up at least four hours before you embark or take a non-drowsy oral medication 30 or more minutes ahead of time.
You want to prepare for weather conditions when whale watching near York, Maine. Even if it’s a hot day on land, temps on the water are often about 10 or more degrees cooler. It may be windy or even rainy. Or you could be exposed to full sunlight.
Layers are a great idea to combat any weather condition, so bring a windbreaker/rain jacket and/or sun cover-up, depending on the weather report, and wear rubber-soled shoes for grip on potentially slick decking. Don’t forget your broad-spectrum sunblock and sunglasses!
Pics or It Didn’t Happen!
As for capturing your experience to share and relive later on, consider bringing a digital camera along, complete with backup batteries and blank memory cards (plus a lanyard for safety). That way, you won’t risk dropping your phone in the water or running out of charge during the trip.
Planning a memorable whale-watching experience is as easy as showing up at the right time of year, choosing a reputable tour guide, and prepping for success with the right boating gear. You show up — Maine will do the rest!
Stage Neck Inn is an iconic destination where families and friends share delightful experiences that evolve into lifetime memories. Offering spacious accommodations with modern amenities and classic décor, breathtaking ocean and harbor views and the ocean’s relaxing sounds make for the perfect stay at our oceanfront resort in York Harbor, ME. Book your stay online now.