California Whale Festivals

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Whale festivals left to right: Dana Point; San Pedro; Rancho Palos Verdes

JANUARY

California Whale Watching Boat Tours all year!

SAN PEDRO: Whale Fiesta February 4, 2024
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Drive
San Pedro, CA
310-548-7562
cabrillomarineaquarium.org

SAN DIEGO Whale Watch Peaks in Mid-January
nps.gov
Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center
(619) 557-5450
Annual Whale Watch at Cabrillo National Monument

MARCH

DANA POINT Festival of Whales March 5-6, 2022  festivalofwhales.org
Enjoy the sun, sand and sea at California's best beach party! Celebrate the California Gray Whale and their successful return from the brink of extinction. Whale appreciation and environmental awareness are the themes of the day.

MONTEREY Whalefest Monterey March 19-20, 2022, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
montereywharf.com
#1 Old Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, CA
Free

APRIL

OXNARD: Celebrate the Whales April 7, 2024, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
25th Celebration of the Whales features Arts and Crafts, Jump House, Live Music, Chalk Drawing, Learn and Play stations, and booths set up so attendees can learn about marine-themed topics. Learn about whale anatomy and migratory patterns through exciting and interactive lessons fit for all ages. Toy boat-building activity is back! Come build and decorate your very own wooden boat to take home! Enjoy refreshments from a selection of food trucks, browse locally-made arts and crafts, and see incredible sidewalk chalk artists at work. Join the fun at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum, 3900 Bluefin Circle, Oxnard, CA. Free, cimmvc.org

 


POINT CABRILLO Point Cabrillo Light Station Whale Festival    postponed till 2023

Fort Bragg)  joins in the Mendocino coast celebration of Whale Festival 
pointcabrillo.org
Celebrate Whale Festival
Join the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 87, modern lightkeepers, and the volunteers at Point Cabrillo Light Station for a unique opportunity to visit the Lantern Room and the beautifully restored operational 3rd order Fresnel lens. These tours are offered only a few days each year. 
Plan Celebrate Whale Festival at the Point Cabrillo Light Station from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. In addition to a grandstand view of the annual Gray whale migration, visitors can see tide pool organisms without getting their feet wet by visiting the 250 gallon salt water aquarium at the Marine Science Education exhibit in the restored Blacksmith shop. Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association (PCLK) volunteer docents will help visitors spot whales, and illuminate Light Station history and local culture with presentations near the Lighthouse. A period museum showing how Lightkeepers and their families lived in the 1930's will be open in the restored First Assistant Lightkeeper's Residence.

Every spring, Gray whales journey with their newborn calves from the protected lagoons of western Baja to their ancestral feeding grounds in the cold waters of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. The whales migrating past Point Cabrillo belong to the Eastern Pacific Gray Whale population of roughly 17,000 to 23,000 individuals. These figures vary year to year, but represent a recovery of the population since Grays were declared a depleted and endangered species in 1946. Though Grays are no longer on the Unites States Endangered Species list, the International Whaling Commission protects them as a "sustained management stock", allowing some annual hunting by subsistence and indigenous peoples. The Eastern Pacific Gray whales pass by Point Cabrillo twice, first on their southward journey from December to February, and again going north between February and May. Newly pregnant females usually lead the northward migration, followed by males, and the last to leave Baja are usually females with new born calves.

New research on the Eastern Pacific Gray whale shows that climate change is affecting the timing of the southward migration, the distance Gray whales travel, their diet and feeding areas and calf survival rate. Some scientists are concerned that the population is once again in decline. Point Cabrillo Lighthouse: pointcabrillo.org

Mendocino Whale Festival March 2020
Wine & Beer Tasting - Chowder Tasting - Wildlife Art Exhibit.

Little River Whale Festival  postponed till 2023
Food and Wine Tasting - Whale Watching Walks - Sea Cave Kayak Tours. 

FORT BRAGG: Fort Bragg Whale Festival   postponed till 2023
Beer & Wine Tasting - Chowder Tasting - Crafts Fair - 5k/10k Run.
mendocinocoast.com

Mendocino
Wine Tasting - Chowder Tasting - Wildlife Art Exhibit - Plein-air Artist Display - Pt Cabrillo Light station Activities - Live Music. Wine tasting and whale watching will be the featured attractions of the Annual Mendocino Whale Festival. Plein-air Artists in the Village Weather permitting! See local artists painting on the Mendocino Headlands. Marine Wildlife Exhibit at the Mendocino Art Center, 10-4pm, Little Lake St., Mendocino.

Little River  postponed till 2023
mendocinocoast.com
Food and Wine Tasting - Open Art Studios - Whale Watching Walks - Sea Cave Kayak Tours - Photography Workshop - VanDamm State Park - Live Music.

Fort Bragg  postponed till 2023
mendocinocoast.com
Microbrew tasting and whale watching will be the featured attractions of the Annual Fort Bragg Whale Festival. With some 20,000 gray whales migrating north from birthing grounds in Mexico to their winter home in Alaska, there will be plenty of whales to view from the Pomo Bluffs Park in Fort Bragg and miles of beaches in MacKerricher State Park just north of the city. Chowder Tasting (Saturday,) Microbrew Beer Tasting - Taste a variety of Micro-Brews from all over! Fort Bragg Whale Festival Hand-Craft Fair

MacKerricher SP - Guided Whale Talks 
MacKerricher State Park: three miles north of Fort Bragg on Highway mendoparks.org | parks.ca.gov
Whale walks
parks.ca.gov
Three miles north of Fort Bragg on Highway 1. From the intersection of Mill Creek Dr (Cleone Heights Dr) & Hwy 1, proceed W toward park entrance. The park includes land W of Cleone and a strip of beach between Fort Bragg and Ten Mile River.
 Call 707-961-0471 for more information.

OXNARD Celebration of the Whales Festival March 27, 2022, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
channelislandsharbor.org
Annual Celebration of the Whales Festival
3350 S. Harbor Blvd.
adjacent to Marine Emporium Landing
Channel Islands Harbor Farmers & Fishermen's Market in conjunction with the Channel Islands Harbor celebrates the migration of the Pacific Grey Whales. The event features live entertainment, whale and marine education exhibits, whale watching excursions, an arts & crafts market, children's activities, BBQ and seafood booths, and a certified Farmers & Fishermen's Market.

APRIL

RANCHO PALSO VERDES Whale of a Day Celebration Saturday, April 9, 2022, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free admission.

Point Vicente Interpretive Center
31501 Palos Verdes Drive West
losserenos.org/woad.htm

Free parking is available at the Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall located at 30940 Hawthorne Blvd. with a free shuttle bus service to PVIC.  The Rancho Palos Verdes annual Whale of a Day celebration is co-sponsored by the City and the docents of Los Serenos de Point Vicente.   "Whale of a Day" is a festival celebrating the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale migration.

MALIBU Leo Carrillo State Park Whale Watching,  Walks 

Celebrating Migration: Whale Walk Park: Leo Carrillo SP Leo Carrillo State Park 10am - 12 Noon Spring is when one of the greatest migrations on earth is taking place right here along our coast!  Gray Whales make their way back north along their 12,000 mile journey. From the bluffs look for signs of these magnificent mammals and others like seals and dolphins.  Search the ocean surface for signs of them on their 5,000 mile return journey with their newborns from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bering Sea. 

Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.

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