Dive Into Three Weekends of Whale Bliss

It's no fluke: Mendocino, Little River, and Fort Bragg have several whale-cool, ocean-amazing events in store come March.


SO YOU JUST SPIED A SPOUT, off in the damp distance, near the horizon, and you're hoping that you'll see the whale that created the spout surface for a few seconds. Will you keep a firm eye on the exact spot where the watery spout cleared the ocean's surface? You will not. You'll likely scan the general area, while mostly gazing in direction that you believe the whale might be headed. For migrating whales? They have a pretty tried-and-true practice of staying on the move, for they have to get where they are going, at their own majestic, forward-going pace. Why, then, should a human-helmed happening, built around whales, stay in one spot for its duration? To make like a whale, a party should cover some waves, er, ground. And the...

MENDOCINO WHALE FESTIVAL... does just that, each and every late winter. In fact, it is a festivity that shows up in three towns, over three weekends, and each location adds its own salty-air'd, briny-beautiful flavor. Weekend #1 raises its proverbial fluke in Mendocino on March 7 and 8, weekend #2 delivers on-the-water to-dos (and on-land fun) to Little River on March 14 and 15, and the final weekend in Fort Bragg a run/walk, a craft fair, and more on March 21 and 22 (which, yes, makes it the only weekend fully in springtime). Visiting foodies will find plentiful places to nosh and sip, with wine tastings, a Bloody Mary and bacon competition, chowder to try, and more munchy temptations filling out the roster. As for the non-edible end of things? Whale watching walks, and chances to kayak, will give visitors the chance to scan for spouts.

ART, too, has its day in the sun, or rather the soft Mendocino fog, with an Wildlife Art Exhibit and a Plein-air Artist Display. So, will you make like these massive mammals and stay on the move over all three weekends, visiting every town, during its festival, to enjoy the whale-sweet goings-on? Whales, of course, travel far greater distances during their migrations than the short jaunts humans will take between the trio of towns that participate in this yearly whale of a bash. So let that knowledge serve as inspiration to attend all three weekends, if you're in Mendocino County and out and aspout. Er, out and about, we do mean, of course, though "aspout" feels much more in the spirit of the cetacean celebration.

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