Easy Day Trip : A New England Whale Watch for the Whole Family


We have the pleasure of living right near the big blue Atlantic Ocean. While splashing in the shallow water at any of our amazing Seacoast beaches can be fun, taking the whole family out to sea goes the extra mile (nautical mile, that is!). A New England Whale Watch is a once in a lifetime experience and you can take one from the wonderful town of Rye, New Hampshire.

Granite State Whale Watch provides safe, exciting, and a very educational chance to see some of Atlantic’s most fascinating marine animals.

Planning a New England Whale Watch:

First and foremost, check out Granite States Whale Watch website. There you can find all the information you need about dates, times, and prices. During the summer months {June 15th – September 1st} the boat runs two whale watches a day, but they can fill up fast, so plan your trip sooner than later! 

What To Bring:


Once tickets are reserved, then it’s time to start planning what to bring with you on the whale watch. Remember, New England weather can change in an instant. Plus, the weather and temperature on the ocean open can be more temperamental than it is on land. Pack layers! Along with layers it’s not a bad idea to wear sensible footwear because the boat can get slippery when wet. Rain gear isn’t a bad idea either. You never know what a day in New Hampshire might bring!


Make sure to bring plenty of food and water. There is food for purchase on the boat but knowing kids they are going to need snacks the whole time, so come prepared! It also never hurts to stay hydrated. Making sure your kiddos are drinking plenty of fluids on the boat will keep everyone comfortable throughout the trip. Don’t worry there are bathrooms on the boat!

Sun Protection

Even though you may be bundling up or the weather seems overcast out in the middle of the deep blue ocean, make sure the whole family is covered with some good sunscreen. There is not a lot of shade on the boat so bringing a hat and sunglasses is a good idea too. Remember you’re in the elements and on a boat for a few hours so preparing a little before you head out will go a long way.

What to Expect:

You Never Know What You’ll Encounter

Heading out on a boat into the open ocean and dealing with wild animals, is something any of us rarely do. Be sure to keep that in mind and prep your family before going on the whale watch. Chances are you’re going to see something amazing but there is no specialized equipment to figure out where whales are in the ocean. Once you are out there, there are many other animals you may see; seals, porpoise, sun fish, basking sharks, dolphins, and lots of birds. Make sure you keep you keep your eyes peeled!

You’ll Be Educated

On every New England whale watch there is a naturalist. The naturalist guides you through everything you’ll see, gives you info about the area, and the animals you encounter. They also take the time to walk around the boat while you’re heading in from the trip to answer any questions. There are typically interns on the boat as well, collecting data and coming around the boat to give you even more info. They are hanging around the boat if you have any questions during the trip. Take it or leave it, but they will make sure not one question goes unanswered and that you are fully immersed in the whale watching experience.

You’ll Be Tired

You’re sure to be tired after a day on the boat. Make sure you don’t have any big plans for the rest of the day! Everyone will also be hungry (no matter how much food you bring with you) and have to use the bathroom (even though there is one on the boat!). 

Want to see some whales this summer or fall? Check out the following companies for an experience you and your family won’t forget:

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Hello, I'm Rachel! I was born and raised in a small town in Southern Maine. Now I live in Seacoast New Hampshire with my ruggedly handsome husband, our sweet son, dog, and two cats. I received my degree in Marine Biology from Hawai'i Pacific University and soon after graduating I moved to Boston and began working in animal medicine. A few years after getting married, my husband and I found ourselves moving to New Hampshire and expecting our son. Now you can find me teaching yoga classes throughout Seacoast New Hampshire. I have traveled a bunch, LOVE the ocean, I always have a thousand "projects" happening at once, love a good workout, and have found the perfect balance between lazy weekends and having adventures.