Mendocino Coast Whale Festivals
Enjoy Wine, Chowder and Craft Beer Tasting while exploring the beautiful village of Mendocino where there are plenty of whales to view from the surrounding Mendocino Headlands State Park. Taste some of Mendocino County’s finest varietals in shops and galleries throughout Mendocino village. A complimentary trolley will be provided for your convenience. Tickets can be bought online for the chowder, wine and beer tasting at Brown Paper Tickets.
March 2: Mendocino Coast Whale Festival
Chowder Tasting & Competition
Sample chowders ranging from traditional to not so traditional from some of the best chefs on the coast and declare the winner at the Mendocino Whale Festival.
When: Saturday, March 2nd from 11 a.m.– 1 p.m. or until the chowder runs out (get there early!)
Where: Crown Hall, Mendocino
Tickets for the chowder tasting are $10 and can be bought online at Brown Paper Tickets, at the Mendocino Coast Chamber office at 217 S Main Street, Fort Bragg and at the venue.
Craft Brews from North Coast Brewing Company are only $5 and include a free 3 oz. pour of North Coast Brewing Company’s new North Coast Steller IPA!
Proceeds from Stellar provide support for marine mammal research and rescue.
When: Saturday, March 2nd from 11 a.m.– 1 p.m.
Where: Crown Hall, Mendocino
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets, at the Mendocino Coast Chamber office at 217 S Main Street, Fort Bragg and at the venue. Remember to bring your ID!
Over a dozen wineries From Mendocino County come together to pour wine for tasters in Mendocino Village.
When: Saturday, March 2nd from 1 p.m.– 4 p.m
Where: Ford House Museum, 45035 Main St, Mendocino, 95460
Tickets are $35 pre-sale and can be bought online at Brown Paper Tickets or at the Mendocino Coast Chamber office at 217 S Main Street, Fort Bragg.
You can also purchase your ticket on the date itself for $40; tickets will be available at the Ford House where you will also be able to pick up your Mendo Whale wine glass/es.
March 9-11: Little River Whale Festival
The eight annual festival offers lodging specials at properties throughout the seaside town of Little River, family fun activities and nature adventure all rolled into one weekend!
March 16: Fort Bragg Whale Festival
Enjoy wine, chowder & craft beer tasting while visiting local shops & inns and whale watch from the new Coastal Trail in Fort Bragg, as well as from miles of beaches.
Fort Bragg, www.mendocinocoast.com
The celebration is all about the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale with their newborn calves from the protected lagoons of western Baja to their ancestral feeding grounds in the cold waters of the Bering Sea. The migrating whales, numbering 18,000 - 23,000, pass by the Mendocino Coast twice each year: once going south between the months of November and February, and again going north between the months of February and June. Since they don’t migrate as a single pod, some whales do not make it all the way to Baja. Some linger off-shore; observations suggest that these are primarily younger males. Newly pregnant females lead the southward migration, followed by their mates. They travel to three major breeding and calving lagoons on the west coast of Baja California, Mexico: Laguna Ojo de Libre, San Ignacio Lagoon (also known as Scammon’s Lagoon) and Magdalena Bay. The northbound migration begins with immature animals (some of which may not have gone all the way to Mexico) adult males and females without calves. Breeding sometimes is observed at this time.
The full round-trip migration from the Baja calving lagoons to the Bering Sea and back is 10,000 miles (16,000 km). It’s quite the commute! The California Gray Whale travels the longest distance of any mammal, always in shallow waters making them visible from land. In addition, this species of whale is the only whose year-round habits and whereabouts are well known. As a result, they have been heavily hunted. Captain Charles Scammon charted many of these areas in the mid-1800s as he hunted Gray Whales. Examinations of the stomachs of whales during the more prevalent whaling days indicated that Gray Whales eat very little while migrating and while in calving areas. Many may go without food for three to five months!
Speaking of calving, calves are usually rambunctious like most mammalian babies, but stay close to their mothers. Calves are at least a month old before they migrate north with their mothers, and the newly formed duos are the last to leave the lagoons moving slow for baby.