Depoe Bay, nestled among towering cliffs and expansive state parks, is the whale-watching capitol of Oregon.
A resident pod of grey whales make their home near this rocky refuge 10 months out of the year, providing up-close wildlife viewing, sometimes on a daily basis. Tour vessels operate out of Depoe Bay, offering ideal opportunities for observing the giant mammals in their own habitat. Many shore observation spots are also available including The Depoe Bay Whale Center, which is Oregon’s newest State Park and the home of the highly acclaimed, “Whale Watching Spoken Here”, program. The center is dedicated to sharing information about whales and helping visitors to understand and appreciate these amazing creatures.
Located on the central Oregon coast, Depoe Bay has become a favorite of coastal visitors for its unique tidal attractions and variety of eating and shopping opportunities. For several million years the Pacific Ocean has been carving its way through the tough basalt formations that form the sides of Depoe Bay, resulting in the smallest year-round navigable harbor in the world.
The picturesque bay is landlocked, except for the harbor entrance through the rocks, which can accommodate boats up to fifty feet in length. Visitors watch with excitement as the vessels make their way to and from the sea through the narrow channel leading under Highway 101 to the harbor, known locally as "shooting the hole." For those wishing to brave the seas themselves, there are numerous charter fishing and whale watching companies.
Because of its proximity to the ocean, fishermen or whale watchers can be from dockside to viewing or fishing in a matter of minutes. The harbor stirs at dawn every day of the year for explosive deep-sea fishing action. Charters sail year ‘round for Ling Cod and 20 varieties of tasty rockfish, plus trophy Chinook and Coho Salmon, Halibut, Albacore Tuna and Dungeness crab during their seasons.
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