Celebration of Whales in Oxnard

Celebrate the glorious grays before their coast-close migration wraps.

APRIL SHOWERS... may bring May flowers, but the fourth month of the year is also known, at least 'round Southern California, as the close of the gray whale migration season off our coast. The giant mammals typically first say their hello in December, and by April they're off to northern waters, very often with their babies close at hand (er, fin). That's the general window to keep in mind, anyway, though gray whales, as a rule, don't typically adhere to our human calendars or clocks (something that should inspire we landlubbers, as we can all get a bit bound to our to-do lists). So how best to bid these beauties adieu, for another season, as they say farewell to the Golden State's southern shores? Well, you could make for one of the final whale-themed parties of the season, at Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, on Sunday, March 20.

THERE'S NO TELLING... whether you'll spy a majestic fluke or a pod of mammoths from your spot on shore, but you can enjoy "live entertainment, whale and marine educational exhibits" as well as kid fun, crafts, BBQ, seafood eats, and such. And, yep, there are whale-watching boat trips, if you want to hop on one (they aren't free, but then you knew that). The yearly Celebration of the Whales is a midday thing -- 10 in the morning to 2 o'clock -- so filling out your Sunday with other sunshiny outings near and on the water is a definite can-do.

IF BEING AT CHANNEL ISLANDS HARBOR... puts you in the mood to see the Channel Islands, well, there's a boat for that, too, via Island Packers. The ferry outfit says whale season ends on April 12, but enjoying the birds and wildlife of the islands, and the Santa Barbara Channel, knows no specific season.

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