When you think of Florida, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it palm trees? Disney World? Perhaps the Keys? These are the images that most people conjure up, because many haven’t heard the words “whale watching” and “Florida” used in the same sentence. However, whale watching in Florida is a possibility if you time your trip correctly! Read on to learn about this unique activity and start planning your getaway with the help of our free Vacation Guide. It has all the top recommendations for local restaurants, museums, activities, events, and more!
Everything You Need To Know About Whale Watching in Florida
Right Whales in Florida
Right whales are colossal mammals, growing up to 55 feet long and weighing over 70 tons. (To put that in perspective, imagine standing on the street and staring up at a five-story building!) You can spot these spectacular animals in Florida at certain times of the year. The right whale typically summers in New England, particularly around Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. In the winter, however, this epcies joins the throngs of birds and humans that head south to warmer climates.
Typically, the best time to whale watch in Florida is in December and January. It’s around this time that more than 100 right whales invade the eastern Florida shoreline between Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral. This is a large number, considering recent estimates place the species’ total population at around 490. Fortunately, the whales are protected and their numbers are steadily increasing.
Tip: Visitors should keep in mind that whale watching in Florida isn’t as big as it is in Oregon or California. It’s highly dependent on weather conditions and luck, so even if you visit during the winter months, you may not see any whales.
Other Species You Can See
There are many other species you can admire when you come to Florida. In case you’re unlucky with the whales, here are some other places where you can spot these majestuous creatures!
Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve
Located south of Gulfport, the Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve is the perfect day-trip activity for nature lovers. Known as Florida’s largest archeological site, it features 2,000 acres of wetland as well as a wide variety of wildlife. Pack your binoculars and get ready to see alligators, egrets, herons, cormorants, and various fish!
The weather in Florida can be temperamental, so don’t let the afternoon showers ruin your day plans! Head over to the Tampa aquarium to see a multitude of local and international species. They offer a variety of exhibits that appeal to the entire family, including Journey to Madagascar, Coral Reef, and Dragons Down Under. If you wish to see dolphins, hop on a cruise! The aquarium offers several expeditions, including a Swim and Dive experience!
Water Tours and Activities
If you’re looking for a maritime adventure during your visit Gulfport, you might consider the Gulfport Dive Center. The Dive Center has something for everyone. If you’re interested in training, they can teach you the basics; if you’re an experienced diver looking to sharpen your skills, they provide specialty classes. You can also join the center for diving tours all over Florida.
Other maritime options include a wide variety of St. Petersburg Boat Tours. Enjoy jazz lunch cruises, dinner dance cruises, sightseeing tours, speedboat tours, and adventure tours. For those seeking a special, off-the-beaten-path adventure, consider a trek south to Fort Myers for an Everglades Day Safari and learn about the different ecosystems that form the Florida Everglades. One thing is for sure — you can’t take a trip like this anywhere else in America!
Stay at the Best B&B in Gulfport, FL!
These sorts of outdoor adventures can give you quite an appetite. Satisfy those hunger pangs with a delicious meal at the Historic Peninsula Inn’s award-winning restaurant, Isabelle’s! Isabelle’s delicious, New Southern cuisine has garnered several accolades, including Rand McNally’s “Best of the Beaches” and “Best of the Road” awards. We even have live music on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Come enjoy our award-winning food in a laid-back, Old Florida atmosphere!
After a day of fun and a delicious meal, retire to your beautiful suite at the Historic Peninsula Inn. Our inn offers various accommodations designed to fit the needs of everyone from single business travelers to families and couples.
Check availability and reserve your room soon!