California Festivals

Mendocino Whale Festival

Mendocino Whale Festival is an annual event along the beaches and northern coast of California to celebrate the whale migration. Several other whale festivals along the coast include a Whale Festival in nearby Fort Bragg and Festival of the Whales in Dana Point.

Tasting delightful wines in elegant shops and galleries just steps from the dramatic Pacific Ocean cliffs. Taste delicious chowder from some of the best chefs and restaurants on the coast and enjoy craft beer from the North Coast Brewing Company. You can experience this and much more at the Annual Mendocino Coast Whale Festivals!

Mendocino Whale Festival  March 7 & 8, 2020
Wine & Beer Tasting - Chowder Tasting - Wildlife Art Exhibit.

Little River Whale Festival March 14-15, 2020  Whale Watching Walks - Sea Cave Kayak Tours

Fort Bragg Whale Festival March 21 & 22, 2020 Beer & Wine Tasting - Chowder Tasting - 5k/10k Run.

Wine stations located at inns, galleries and shops throughout Mendocino Village and Little River showcase the local winery favorites, as the region's chefs produce seafood chowders in a tasting event. A marine mammal art exhibit, plein-air (live outdoor painting demonstrations) and docent-led walks are all part of the two-day festival.

An estimated 20,000 gray whales migrate from birthing grounds in Mexico to their winter home in Alaska and Mendocino is considered one of the best locations to watch them. There is usually plenty of whale watching opportunity from Mendocino Headlands State Park, which surrounds Mendocino Village.

Whale Watching Docent-led whale watch walks are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 2nd, and 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 3rd. A limited number of binoculars and spotting scopes are available. Meet at the Ford House.

Wildlife Art Exhibit The exhibit can be viewed at the Mendocino Art Center (45200 Little Lake Street) 10:00am"5:00pm daily.

Plein-air Artist Display (Weather permitting) See artists in their natural habitat and in action. Plein-air Artists in the Village! See local artists painting on the Mendocino Headlands

Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park The Coast Guard Auxiliary will give lens tours, on-site docents will be available to answer questions, help visitors find whales and tell stories about the Station and its history.

Chowder Tasting in Crown Hall, Saturday from 11am-till the chowder runs out, $10 allows you to taste each participant. Crown Hall located at 45285 Ukiah St., Mendocino. T-shirts and totes available during event.

Whale Watching walks on the headlands and Gray Whale Exhibit at the Ford House Visitor's Center, Saturday and Sunday. Ford House Visitor Center located on ocean side of Main Street, Mendocino.


Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Taste of Little River. Discover the many flavors of Little River as local gourmet chefs show off their specialties paired with local wines. Advance tickets available at Little River Inn and day of the event at the Andiron. Fundraiser for Mendocino Area Parks Association and the preservation of the Spring Ranch Barns at Van Damme State Park. $25, includes Whale Festival Commemorative wine glass.

Sunday, 11 a.m. Little River Improvement Club -Tales from Little River

Kayak Mendocino Sea Cave Tours: Paddle through sea caves and meet the harbor seals, sea stars, algae and shorebirds. Saturday & Sunday 11:30 & 2, $50

Adventure Passport: Explore Little River's classes, art studios, trails and tours collecting a sticker at each. Attend three or more events for a chance to win a local prize.

Docent Led Whale Watch Walk (free)
Walking tour of Spring Ranch property (free)
Mendocino Rotary Club Hosts Vegas Night (Saturday only 6:30pm) Crown Hall, Mendocino. Texas Holdem, Wheel of Fortune, Black Jack and more. Refreshments, music, silent and noisy auctions great prizes.
Watch for other additional Little River discounts and specials during the Festival.

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

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