The City of Langley is located Whidbey Island, Washington. Overlooking Saratoga Passage, the picturesque town offers close-up views of a wide variety of marine mammals. Langley is known for its art, charm, great restaurants and inns, and Whale Bell Park.

  • In May 2010, the City of Langley issued a Mayoral Proclamation declaring itself a Whale Trail city. The first one - we hope many more follow Langley's example!

Where the Whales Are

The best places to see marine mammals in Langley are at the overlook on Main Street as you enter the town and at Whale Bell park - or anywhere along the beach!

  • Each spring, a group of up to 20 gray whales return to the waters around Whidbey Island. They sometimes come right up to the seawall at Langley, feeding along bottom of the shore.
  • River otters can be seen year round near the marina.
  • Seals, sea lions are commonly seen.
  • Look for Harbor porpoise and Dall's porpoise in Saratoga Passage.
  •  Orcas, too, are occasionally seen in Saratoga Passage.

Whale Bell Park

When the whales are near Langley, the whole town knows it! When someone spots a whale, they ring the brass bell at Seawall Park. 

The beautiful bell was a community project. The bell itself was donated to Langley by Susan Berta of Orca Network. An Eagle Scout, Michael Scullin, worked with sculptor Tim Leonard to design and install the bell frame and nearby signs.

Be sure to see the bell when you visit Langley. With luck, it will be ringing!

Welcome the Whales

Each spring, the City of Langley co-hosts an event with Orca Network to celebrate the return of the gray whales to Whidbey.  The event features kid's activities, environmental displays, whale-themed talks, and our favorite, a parade!

People come from all over to dress up as their favorite whale or dolphin, and parade through the streets of Langley. The center of the parade is Gary the Gray Whale, a 20-foot fabric gray whale carried aloft by dozens of people, sometimes including the Mayor. The parade ends at Seawall Park, where Gary's real-life counterparts may be spouting.

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  1. Shannon : 24 September 2013 11:11AM

    Will be going to WA for the first time in Nov! Really, really hoping to see a whale, or more! Any marine life is awesome, but do the Orcas stay year round?

    • donna : 25 September 2013 12:06AM

      Hi Shannon,
      The southern resident orcas (J, K and L pods) are in the general vicinity of the northwest year-round, with seasonal differences in their travel patterns. In the fall and winter, they follow salmon runs into central Puget Sound. So November is a good time of year to see them here, but exactly where and when is hard to predict. Check Orca Network’s Facebook page, where local orca sightings are often posted, or ours. In November you might see gray whales on the coast on their southbound migration; Whale Trail sites like Cape Flattery and La Push are good spots to see them and other marine mammals. Good luck, and let us know what you see!
      Donna (The Whale Trail)

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The Whale Trail

Address / Contact

Whidbey Island

PO Box 366112 Second Street

Langley, WA 98260

360 221-4246

City of Langley

Whale Trail Features

Whale Trail site is located at Whale Bell park

Marine Mammals Commonly Seen Here

Marine Mammals Occasionally Seen Here

Marine Mammals Rarely Seen Here

The Whale Trail is a nonprofit organization in partnership with
Partners NOAA Seattle Aquarium People for Puget Sound Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife The Whale Museum National Marine Sanctuaries