Mill Rose Inn
Phone : 1 (650) 726-8750

Half Moon Bay Whale Watching Excursions

November 11th, 2014 by Mill Rose Inn

Whale Watching

A humpback whale breaching / Photo By John K via Flickr

If you’re staying with us at the Mill Rose Inn this season you definitely do not want to miss one of the famous Half Moon Bay whale watching excursions. There are many options to get out on the water and see some of those unfathomably huge prehistoric creatures. It’s a magical seaside experience to get up close (but not too close!) and personal with the creatures of the deep. There are numerous whale watching boats that leave from Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay. Here are a just a few of the area’s whaling journeys.

Gray Whale Watching

It is almost that time of year again!  The great gray whale migration always begins around December and the Oceanic Society is gearing up to start taking groups out on the water to witness their return from feeding in the Alaskan waters over the summer. They are southward bound to Baja, California for the winter months to breed and calf. You can catch the Gray Whale tours from December through May out of Pillar Point Harbor. The Oceanic Society tours are led by naturalists who having been watching the parade of about 15,000 gray whales for years and will give you a unique educational experience about the conservation of this species.

The Queen of Hearts

This is a unique family-oriented whale watching experience aboard Capt. Bob Ingles’ Queen of Hearts, a fishing and whale watching vessel. At 50 ft. long the Queen is a comfortable ride with restrooms and a cabin to stay warm in. This family business was built on a love for the San Mateo coast, and will take you out to spot the populous gray and humpback whales off the coast. Trips are available on weekends during this peak season, and the team is also well known for the shallow water fishing and salon fishing trips.

Riptide Charters

Head out on the Riptide with Capt. Smitty, an experienced and highly recommended seaman out of Pillar Point Harbor who charters trips in the San Francisco Bay Area. He can take you out to get close to those gray whales in their trek down the coast, and the playful humpbacks who always put on a show. Smitty is also an expert fisherman who will send you home with your allotted day’s catch in no time. On a more somber not, Smitty is also well known for his ash- scattering charters in which he takes groups out for memorial ceremonies as they scatter the ashes of the deceased. He is reputed to make this a lovely and memorable experience for the mourning.


There are many opportunities for Half Moon Bay whale watching, and just a ten minute drive from the Mill Rose Inn. Make sure to dress warm for the peak season because it gets cold out there on the water. We’ll send you off with a full stomach after our famous breakfasts, and welcome you with cozy rooms and warm drinks after your day on the high seas. This is definitely a opportunity you don’t want to miss when you’re in town.