There are two ways to whale watch: by land and by sea. First, the easy (and cheapest) way: by land. Naturalists and park rangers at the Point Dume State Reserve in Malibu will be on hand Saturdays and Sundays through the end of March to help visitors spot gray whales and other marine life during the annual winter migration. With help from experts, families can see the mammals surfacing, diving and spouting their way along the coastline.
The view from the bluff of Point Dume is spectacular on a clear day, ranging from Palos Verdes to the Channel Islands and far to the north. Naturalists will have some binoculars available for visitors to use (bring your own if you have them), and occasionally the whales are visible to the naked eye. Naturalists will also hand out free literature and answer questions.
To reach Point Dume, take Pacific Coast Highway north to Westward Beach Road in Malibu. Turn left and follow the road to the parking lot, where a $4 parking fee is sometimes enforced. Naturalists will be on duty 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends. Information: (818) 888-3770.
From San Pedro 22nd Street Landing, weekend whale-watching trips are scheduled at 9 and 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The cost is $10; for seniors 62 and over and children 12 and under, the cost is $7. Trips are scheduled through April 3. Information: (213) 832-8304.