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California Whale Festivals

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

Whale Watching

Every March the gray whales make their long trek from the lagoons in Baja, where they birth their calves, back to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea. This migration can be seen from many California lookout points, seaside towns and there are many dedicated festivals celebrating these huge and peaceful animals. Check out some of the upcoming festivals around California.


The seventh annual Little River Whale Festival offers a food and wine tour, family fun activities, and nature adventure all rolled into one weekend! Below is just a sampling of events and experiences inn guests and locals can partake in throughout the weekend: docent-led whale watch walk, kayak sea cave tours, whale wars documentary viewing and more.

The Dana Point Festival of Whales is one of Southern California's largest seafaring celebrations and reaches out to whale admirers around the world. The festival draws over 100,000 visitors each year over two weekends. Festival highlights in an opening day parade, street fair, art and craft shows, classic car exhibits, paddling and sailing trips, boating extravaganza, san sculpting, concerts on land and water, environmental activities, and of course, whale watching excursions on a variety of vessels or whale watching from breathtaking Dana Point Headlands Conservation Park.

Enjoy Chowder and microbrew tasting while visiting our local shops and Inns, and whale watch from the new Coastal Trail in Fort Bragg, as well as from miles of beaches. Festivities include docent-led walking tours of Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, whale watching boat tours from Noyo Harbor, whale scavenger hunt for kids, and exhibits at Noyo Center for Marine Science.

Channel Islands Harbor Farmers' 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 Farmer's Market.



For those of you wanting to get up close and personal with these magnificent mammals there are plenty of Whale Tours around the coast of California.

Newport Whales in Newport Beach hosts daily whale watching trips year round. Their website also has a ton of information about all things whale related.



3. Point Reyes National Seashore near San Francisco (nearly 94% of migrating whales pass within one mile of this lookout point.

5. Point Vicente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes is one of California's premier viewing areas.

6. Bodega Head in Bodega Bay near San Francisco

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