Bucket List Adventures | #4 Whale Watching

Whale watching was always something I wanted to do. When I started creating my bucket list a few years back (see here for the complete list) it was one of the first things added to the list (along with going up the Seattle Space Needle). With their sheer size and undeniable grace in the water, whale’s always amazed me. Living in Seattle, we had no excuse not to go whale watching and check it off the bucket list.

Orca whales near San Juan Islands, Washington

When we first arrived to the area, we looked into the best times to view whales and May-October was the typical time to see Orca and Humpback whales in the Seattle area. We planned to go in June and as soon as the month hit, we signed up for a tour with Island Adventures leaving from the San Juan Islands (about an hour north of downtown Seattle). Our tour was a half day tour (lasting about 5 hours). There are also downtown Seattle tours that are full day trips offered through other companies.

Docks of San Juan Islands, Washington

What I Wore

Heading north from Seattle and being on the water, I bundled up for this adventure. Even in June with temperatures in the mid-50/60s throughout the day, I planned for much cooler temperatures on the water. I wore this long sleeve striped shirt with this Helly Hansen wind breaker/rain jacket and my favorite Ralph Lauren sunglasses. This was the perfect outfit to stay warm while on the windy waters.

What to wear whale watching near Seattle, Washington
Outfit Details: Three Dots long sleeve striped shirt, Helly Hansen wind breaker/rain jacket and Ralph Lauren sunglasses

Whale Watching

We left the dock at 4PM with about 30 other people on the multi-storied boat. We brought a few snacks on board to enjoy on the water; however, the boat also offered a variety of snacks and drinks on board. After a brief safety briefing, we were off to find some whales!

Sail boats near San Juan Islands, Washington

We sailed for about 30 minutes before seeing our first whale pod. We first ran into a pod of 2 Orca whales. Other boats also found this pod and were amazed by the orcas swimming in the water.

Orca whale pod near San Juan Islands, Washington
Whale watching boats near San Juan Islands, Washington

After about 1 hour watching this pack play in the water, the boat decided to head to other areas. Along the way, we saw harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and bald eagles. We ran into another pod of 2 orcas that were on the hunt. We watched them for the remainder of the afternoon.

Bald Eagle near San Juan Islands, Washington

Going whale watching was a Spec-tacular adventure and seeing these mighty and beautiful animals in the wild was amazing! It was another bucket list item accomplished off the list …

Orca whale watching San Juan-Islands Washington
Orca whale watching San Juan

Also see: My Seattle Travel Guide and Bucket List #3 Seattle Space Needle



  1. March 25, 2019 / 2:24 pm

    This looks like so much fun! This is def Iā€™m my bucket list as well too!

    • Liz
      March 25, 2019 / 6:59 pm

      It was so much fun! Such an amazing experience to see them in the wild!

  2. March 25, 2019 / 5:57 pm

    Oh my gosh this experience looks absolutely incredible!

    Laura || afinnontheloose.com

    • Liz
      March 25, 2019 / 6:58 pm

      Thanks so much! It was a total blast! šŸ™‚

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