“To inspire wonder, discovery, recreation and stewardship of our

natural and cultural treasures in Mendocino County’s State Parks”






Saturday, March 5th and Sunday March 6th, 2016

Explore the beautiful village of Mendocino where there are plenty of whales to view from the surrounding Mendocino Headlands State Park. Chowder, Beer and Wine Tasting options festoon pedestrian-friendly lanes, while you explore art exhibits, local shops and Inns. 


45035 Main Street, Mendocino Village, open 11am to 4pm daily, 707.937.5397

March Exhibit: Whale Tales – Exhibit featuring bones from a Gray Whale, information regarding the gray whale migration, and a whale quiz. Knowledgeable docents will be on hand throughout the Whale Festival with tips on when and where to watch for whales, and to answer questions regarding gray whale natural history.

Saturday, March 5, 11am - 1:30 or until the chowder runs out

Chowder Tasting which features delicious red, white and vegetarian chowder from various local restaurants. Tickets for the chowder tasting are $10 and can be purchased online, at the Mendocino Coast Chamber office or at the venue. Crown Hall (45285 Ukiah Street)

Beer Tasting of Mendocino County's finest craft brews. $12 per ticket. Must be 21 years of age.

Wine Tasting highlighting delicious local wines poured at various locations throughout the Mendocino Village. 1pm-4pm. Advance tickets $35 or $40 on the date. Must be 21 years of age.  

Saturday, March 5, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 6, 11:00 a.m.

Whale Walks – for the public and led by State Park Interpreters and knowledgeable docents. A limited number of binoculars are available for loan.  Meet at the Ford House.

 Saturday, March 5, 12-4:00 p.m.

Coffee Tasting – Free Thanksgiving Coffee tasting on the Ford House front porch.



The seventh annual Little River Whale Festival offers lodging specials at properties throughout the seaside town of Little River, CA, a food and wine tour, family fun activities, and nature adventure all rolled into one weekend!

Friday, March 11th thru Sunday March 13th 2016

Be sure to stop by the Van Damme State Park and Visitor Center, located along Hwy 1 and three miles south of Mendocino.  The visitor center will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 11th, 12th & 13th, from 10-3 p.m.  Volunteer park hosts will share the history and environment of our park, which features coastal Spring Ranch trails, a lush Fern Canyon, a scenic riparian trail system, a Pygmy Forest interpretive walk of miniature mature trees.  For more information follow the link to our Van Damme Visitor Center page for a detailed schedule of events at www.mendoparks.org

Friday, March 11th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.  -  Nature’s Whale Parade Campfire

Saturday, March 12th, 10 a.m. - noon-  Whale Walk

Saturday, March 12th, 1p.m. - 4 p.m.  -  Taste of Little River

Saturday, March 12th, 7p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)  -  Mendocino Whale Wars Local Video Documentary

Sunday, March 13th, 10:30a.m. - Noon  -  "Tour Through Time" A peek at the Kent/Spring Ranch Barns

Visitor Center will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10a.m. - 3p.m.

Kayak Tours and Lodging specials also available!



Friday March 18th thru Sunday, March 20th 2016

 Enjoy Chowder and microbrew tasting while visiting our local shops and inns, and whale watch from Pomo Bluffs in Fort Bragg, as well as from miles of beaches.

ENJOY THE EVENTS AT MacKerricher State Park, located three miles north of Fort Bragg on Highway 1, is an ideal location for watching the whale migration.  A wheelchair accessible boardwalk allows access to the headlands of Laguna Point with stunning views of the coastline. Trained docents will present public whale walks with use of binoculars and a spotting scope to help visitors study whales and other fascinating marine and bird wildlife. 

You may also visit the rare, reconstructed Gray Whale Skeleton on permanent display near the visitor center and entry kiosk. Events are free of charge, for additional information call (707)961-0471 or visit www.mendoparks.org.   

 Friday, March 18th, 7:00 p.m.

Join us for an exciting lecture presented by biologist and UC Berkeley lecturer Julie Woodruff Ph.D. Discussion and slide show about the social behavior of the whales that inhabit our coast line. Julie is an educator and researcher whose travels have taken her from Patagonia to Canada. Come join us and learn about whale socialization and examine why we feel so connected to these magnificent marine mammals.

 Saturday and Sunday, March 19th and 20th, 11:00 a.m.

WHALE WALKS: Docents and State Parks Staff presents an informative overview of gray whales. The program starts at the MacKerricher State Park Visitor Center and proceeds to the whale skeleton before driving to Laguna Point for whale watching.

Saturday, March 19th, 1:00-3:00 p.m.    

Family Event Including Arts, Crafts, Games & Educational Activities: Learn all about gray whales in this interactive learning event. Visit our education stations to collect information and tokens so you can build your very own badge of knowledge. Play games, make art, listen to music and enjoy a free hot dog lunch. (donations accepted) 

Sunday, March 20th, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Meet a Whale! Help preserve our whale skeleton: Come to the MacKerricher Visitor Center to help paint and preserve a life size whale skeleton!  Every year a fresh coat of paint is applied to our famous gray whale skeleton to help protect it from the elements. Bring a paint brush and wear your painting clothes!

*NOTE - rain or fog will cancel*



Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park, located between Hwy 1 and Point Cabrillo Drive, occupies a spectacular headland thrusting out into the Pacific Ocean. Park and walk the half-mile down the access road leading to the lighthouse and gift shop or hike the trail through the grasslands. Accessible parking is available in front of the light station residences. 

 Visiting Point Cabrillo for the Whale Festival supports the Education Program.  Donations and profits help reach over 1,000 students and over 400 adults learn firsthand about the cultural and natural history at Point Cabrillo. Instructors not only teach, they volunteer countless hours painting and refurbishing the Marine Science Exhibit, docent during Whale Festival, conduct Road Scholar tours, and lead lens tours into the lighthouse tower.  For more information, visit www.pointcabrillo.org. 

 Saturday and Sunday, March 5-6 and 19-20, 10-4:00 p.m.

Whale Watching – experienced and enthusiastic docents help visitors spot whales and other marine life along one of the best gray whale migration viewing locations along the coast.

Lens Tours – tour a 1909 lighthouse and imagine yourself as a Lightkeeper!   Local Lightkeepers, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 87, and Lightkeeper docents accept a $5 donation for a tour of the lighthouse tower, the lens in the lantern room, and the lantern gallery.

Visit http://pointcabrillo.org/visit/events/ for more information