Going to the Whales

The ocean-close town throws a party for the famous California Grays.

Dana Point Whale Festival

FOUR DECADES, TWO WEEKENDS: Marine life swims past and sometimes up to Dana Point on a daily basis and has done so, for, oh. Well. Since long before Dana Point was Dana Point. But come December to March, the visitors passing in the water tend to stir up extra excitement. Maybe it is because they are rather on the large side, maybe it is because they can be fairly elusive, maybe it is because they come with blowholes, maybe it is all of the above. And, before they go, the city throws a two-weekend party for them, much in the way the city has done for just over four decades. It's the Festival of Whales, it is one of the world's best-known whale confabs, and it is happening on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, and again the following weekend.

BOAT TRIPS AND BIG PARADES: If you're not heading out to the open ocean on a whale watching cruise, we bet you'll be sticking around Dana Harbor where the bulk of the events are going to go down. The sweet, marine-nice parade is on the first Saturday, and various runs hoof it on Sunday, March 11. We will make one suggestion, regardless of the day you choose: Look into the shuttle service. The California Grays may be able to travel by current, but we humans still must stick to roads. And because it is busy during the fest, you want to make your arrival smooth and not all wet, if possible.

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