Have a Whale of a Time…
At the Mendocino Coast Whale Festivals that happen on the first three weekends of March… there are activities and events for everyone!
Mendocino Whale Festival
On March 2 & 3 at the Mendocino Whale Festival, enjoy wine, chowder and craft beer tasting while you explore the picturesque village. Eighteen local wineries will be pouring at shops and galleries around town on Saturday March 2 so pick up a glass at the Ford House, and wave at the whales as you head off for your wine-tasting adventure.
If you like chowder, now’s your chance to chow down! On March 2, our coastal chefs will prepare delicious chowders for your tasting pleasure. You’re in for a treat in every bowl! And what goes better with chowder than a glass of beer. The crew from North Coast Brewing Company will have their latest and greatest Spring beer release on tap, along with a selection of their very fine brews! Just $5 buys you a glass… and you even get a free taste of their Steller IPA (and it is stellar!).
Tickets for the chowder, wine, and beer tastings are available from Brown Paper Tickets or the day of the event.
Throughout the weekend, the Ford House in Mendocino is home to “WhaleTales” an exhibit featuring bones from a Gray Whale and you can join a docent for a whale watch walk. For the seagoing adventurer, book a whale-watching boat tour to encounter the whales up close (leave from Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg). Or stay on land and visit Point Cabrillo Light Station with its grandstand view of the annual gray whale migration.
Little River Whale Festival
Start your weekend with a winemaker dinner at the Heritage House Resort, an exquisite property overlooking the Pacific Ocean!
Bring the kids because you’re all going to have a blast at the Little River Whale Festival’s Sandcastle Building Contest at Big River Beach on Saturday March 9. Just bring your bucket and spade (or that big yellow excavator) to create your masterpiece! Follow that up with a sea cave kayaking tour with Kayak Mendocino… floating on the waves to spot seals and sea stars among the nooks and crannies that line Van Damme State Beach.
On Sunday March 10, head to the Little River Inn for the Bloody Marys and Bacon Competition… that’s brunch in a glass!
You’re going to need to take a nap after all this activity, so book a room today at one of the Little River inns offering Whale Festival Specials.
Fort Bragg Whale Festival
The weekend of St. Patrick’s Day brings beer, chowder, wine and more beer to Fort Bragg, along with a host of other fun events.
Start off your day by sampling creative chowders from coast chefs who compete to win your vote for the champion. Pair your bowl of chow with a beer from North Coast Brewing Company. Spend the afternoon sipping fine wines poured by the very best Mendocino County wineries or continue your exploration of local brews at the 24th Annual Beer Festival at Correy Hall in Fort Bragg. Just $30 buys you beer forever!
If you fancy a life on the ocean waves, head to Noyo Harbor for a trip to meet the whales that cruise just a few minutes out to sea. Safely on land, the Noyo Center for Marine Science will be showing off their whale skeleton and on March 17, pair your whale viewing with a local wine from 1 to 4PM.
Be Sure to Wave Back!
It’s one thing to stand on the bluffs and watch California Grey Whales spout and breach offshore as they make their annual trek south, but it’s quite another to board one of the whale-watching boats in Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor and take to the high seas in search of cetaceans. If you’re lucky, you might spot the Orca pod that trawls the seas as far south as Point Arena. Fancy something a little more hands-on? Try your hand at a crabbing adventure! Bait the pots on the way out and haul in the prize on the return to port. Come home with the legal limit of 10 crabs per person! Or if you’re a dedicated landlubber, visit the gals at Princess Seafood Market & Deli who haul in a catch every day they can!