Mondo Mammals Make Merry Near Monterey as Whale Fans Party Onshore

An on-land lark pays homage to the epic icons of the ocean.

Whalefest Monterey

What to Know

  • Whalefest Monterey on Old Fisherman's Wharf
  • March 18 and 19, 2023
  • Free; the two-day symposium will include educational events, talks, and more

A TAIL TO TELL: It would be quite the fluke to encounter a chatty whale while sailing the waves off the Monterey Peninsula, but it is no fluke when we spy a fluke. The reason? Several kinds of whales do love to call upon Monterey Bay during their migratory journeys, thanks to the plentiful feeding opportunities found around the splashy expanse. So frequently are flukes seen — and, of course, we're talking about those wonderful whale tails here, a common sight as the behemoths dive deeper in search of food — that people around the peninsula can almost feel like the giants are true locals. Monterey residents do adore the whales so ardently that an annual event, one that's been splashing around for more than a decade, pays homage to these amazing earthlings every winter. And the celebration, which is centered on an info-rich symposium, is ready to take a deep dive during the final weekend of the season.

THE 13TH WHALEFEST MONTEREY... is a free happening, one that will take place at Old Fisherman's Wharf and Custom House Plaza. Look for over three dozen exhibitors to dot the area, live tunes, and activities that enhance our relationship with the ocean and its amazing denizens. Several research groups, including the Marine Mammal Center, will also have an enlightening presence at the event. As for the lighthearted side of the weekend-long lark? A giant inflatable whale will make a cameo on March 18 — her name is Dee — and Abalone Races will raise the air of excitement ("No harm is done to the abalones, being exposed to daylight, they merely are heading back into a shady spot," share organizers.) For the full list of events popping up around Monterey, take a deep dive at this page now.

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