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Where to stay: Watch the whales in Newport

December is here, and with it comes the winter migration of gray whales!

Twice each year, our coast is blessed with the opportunity to see whales multiple times a day every day, as nearly 20,000 gray whales travel between Alaska and Mexico. For winter, the whales are heading south and passing by the Oregon coast in the coming weeks. The biggest week for whale watching this month will take place Dec. 27-31.

Looking to migrate to the coast to catch a view of the whales? Here’s a quick list of places you can stay in Newport to get a good glimpse of these gigantic creatures.

The Best Western Plus Agate Beach Inn is a good walk or a short drive from the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Outstanding Natural Area, which not only offers incredible views for whale watching, but it’s also one of two “Whale Watching Spoken Here” sites. During whale watch weeks, such as the Dec. 27-31 period coming up, volunteers will be at designated Whale Watching Spoken Here sites to help onlookers learn about whales and spot some cetaceans in the water. The Whaler and Elizabeth Oceanfront Suites are both close enough to walk to the other site, located at Don & Ann Davis Park.

But, for those looking to get an up-close look at the whales, a charter is the way to go. In that case, lodging at the Embarcadero Resort Hotel or The Landing at Newport, which are located near the Bayfront, where you can find many charter services to take you on that once-in-a-lifetime trip out on the water.