Two Weekends + Whale Wonders Aplenty, in Dana Point

The popular parade, a sand sculpting showdown, and chances to learn about our blowhole'd buds are making for the charmer of a burg.

SPLISH AND SPLASH: Dropping the word "cetacean" in everyday conversation? Sharing random facts how much a grey whale can weigh (up to 40 tons) and how those marvelous baleen plates in some whales' mouths can efficiently filter food? All so cool, but these sorts of tidbits don't need to be part of your daily repertoire, in order to prove that you're a major whale maven. You can also just love the thrill of seeing a spout in the distance, and the fun of spotting a fluke off the bow of the boat, and that these peaceful giants follow ancient migratory paths not far from much of the Golden State shoreline. And to treat fans who dig the deep knowledge of whales, as well as those lovers who simply want to enjoy whale-based revelries for a day, there is the...

DANA POINT FESTIVAL OF WHALES: This long-runner of a mondo happening — it'll mark its first half century in a couple of years — splish-splashes over the first two weekends of March 2019. The double-weekend'd whoop-di-doo tells you this is truly a big festival, and so it is; eye the schedule and you'll see it is crammed with lively doings. The colorful parade is one favorite, and happens at the same time as the Street Faire (that's on March 2), while the Clam Chowder Cook-off on March 9 will tempt stew buffs with a host of steamy bowls. A concert, an Ocean Awareness Day, Captain Dave's Under the Sea Eco Carnival, classic car & boat displays, and a lecture series spotlight marine mammals are also part of the Dana Point goings-on.

THAR SHE BLOWS, but she won't blow forever: Be in the D.P. on March 2, 3, 9, and 10, and be sure to match up your visit to the things you'd have a whale of a time doing.

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