breaching whale

Each and every March, coastal Mendocino County celebrates the migration of gray whales.  Fun for locals and visitors alike, you’ll find curated walks, interactive science demonstrations, concerts, even a Bloody Mary competition – all to celebrate the most majestic of marine mammals.  Check out the numerous events and activities – there are fun happenings for everyone in the family!


This year, MendoParks invites you to explore any one of Mendocino County’s oceanside state parks for some incredible views and opportunities to spot a spout or two! MacKerricher State Park, just north of Fort Bragg offers self-guided tours, plus a chance to see a gray whale skeleton exhibit.  Every Friday and Saturday in March, guided tours are offered at MacKerricher too.  Tours happen three times each day and with a limit of 12 guests per tour on a first-come, first-serve basis, you definitely want to make plans now for this fun and informative tour.

In the Village of Mendocino, the Ford House Visitor Center and Museum features a seasonal gray whale exhibit, and the Mendocino Headlands State Park is one of the most stunning vistas for a guided whale watching tour.  And still further south, Van Damme State Park has a guided tour as well. www.mendoparks.org/whale-festival

The Mendocino Land Trust is offering a very special viewing spot for whale watching – Navarro Point.  Aside from this incredible vantage, the space for this viewing is limited, so a lottery to secure a spot will take place on Friday, February 25th for the opportunity to experience this inaugural viewing from stunning Navarro Point. www.mendocinolandtrust.org

Another amazing spot for whale watching is at the Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park, between Fort Bragg and Mendocino. With the land jutting out towards the ocean, it’s almost like being on the water…without actually being on the water. Not only do you have amazing views, to watch whales and wildlife, but you also get the added bonus of the lighthouse too! If you visit Point Cabrillo on a Saturday between March 12th and April 9th, you’ll have three docent-guided walks to choose from, and volunteers stationed along the bluffs to point out Gray Whales and answer questions about the marine mammals of Northern California.



For kids of all ages – that’s means adults with insatiable curiosity and a zest for adventure – you must take part in the Scavenger Hunt FUNdraiser organized by the Noyo Center.  Explore Fort Bragg and town of Mendocino areas as you learn more about the Mendocino Coast, gray whales and more – you may even when cash or prizes!

And do you think you can guess the weight of the bones of a Blue Whale?? Well, try as often as you like at the Noyo Center’s Discovery Center and at the Crow’s Nest of the Noyo Headlands Trail. Cash prizes to the winners!

The Noyo Center for Marine Science has a fabulous interactive Discovery Center in downtown Fort Bragg that’s filled with interesting exhibits, including the Ocean Immersion Dome with lots of amazing videos with a touchless interface to choose your viewing experience. www.noyocenter.org/whale-festival-2022


Want to get a little closer to the migrating whales…?  Telstar Charters has a trip planned with a Noyo Center expert on March 24th.  Sign up now for this exciting adventure – only 22 seats are available on this date; however, there are several charter boats in Noyo Harbor to book a whale watching excursion. www.noyocenter.org/whale-festival-2022


For adults, get set for the 2nd Annual Battle of the Bloody Marys at Little River Inn!  After a two year break, both local and professional bartenders are vying for the title of Best Bloody Mary.  With vodka donated by local distiller Tamar Distillery, all entries are sure to be delish!  And…this competition benefits Mendocino Area Parks Association.

Little River Inn is also host to a special concert, John Reischman & The Jaybirds.  With seven acclaimed albums and two Juno nominations, this group brings their innovative brand of music to the Mendocino Coast for a MendoParks benefit concert.  Don’t miss the fun and music in this intimate setting. Tickets available here: www.mendoparks.org/whale-festival