Aerial view of the Big Sur coastline near Monterey, California
© Blue Planet Archive/Alam
Gray days ahead in Monterey
If you need another reason to visit Big Sur in California, we have a whale of a reason for you. In late winter and early spring, thousands of gray whales, many with calves in tow, swim by this part of the Pacific coast as they migrate from the warm waters of Baja California to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea. Come winter, they pass by again on the swim south. The entire round-trip route clocks in at about 12,000 miles, making gray whales among the longest migrators of the animal kingdom. Because they travel close to the coastline, it's also one of the few whale migrations you can see from shore.