Whale Fest: Three Towns, Three Weekends - NBC Bay Area
Worth the Trip
Our daily look at deals and getaways

Whale Fest: Three Towns, Three Weekends

Hop along the Mendocino-close coast and keep a watch for flukes.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    What You Didn't Know About Daylight Saving Time
    Shutterstock
    It's nearly Whale Festival time around Mendocino County, on the land and in the waves.

    TO SEE A TRIO OF WHALES, outside of a documentary or animated film, is a rare and wonderful thing, but it does happen. One minute you've got your eye on a single blowhole in the distance, and then! A fluke rises nearby, and then another. There could be even more behemoths, beneath the waves, but you know, right there, from your perch on a bluff or a boat, that you've witnessed something quite special. There is another special happening, that has to do with the concept of a trio, and with whales, too, but this one happens very much on terra firma. It's the Mendocino Whale Festival, a late-winter party that's so large it takes up three full weekends in three different towns. Those towns are pretty close to each other, along the coast -- Mendocino, Little River, and Fort Bragg -- but the multiple municipality vibe telegraphs the fact that fans who gather to celebrate the fluke-fantastic, migration-majestic beasties think big when it comes to whales. That bash-oriented bigness is back for another swim-through over the first three weekends in March 2016.

    THE MENDOCINO WHALE FESTIVAL... is up on weekend number one, on Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6, with Little River following after that and Fort Bragg wrapping it all up on March 19 and 20. Every place that's part of the party has a little something different going on, but there are themes ("whales" being a huge one, but food and drink, too). The Mendocino Whale Festival will feature a wine & beer tasting and a chowder festival, but if you miss that hang tight for Fort Bragg, which will also celebrate clam-laden, creamy-good seafood stews. Sea cave kayak tours are one highlight of the Little River weekend, while art and a run dot the other schedules. It's just massive, massive like a massive mammal, and to book stays in all three towns over all three weekends might be a bucket-list-y must-do for the extreme whale fan. And that's all of us, yes? We may never see more than one whale at a time out in the waves, or we may see many, but three is definitely a lucky number, town- and weekend-wise, during the yearly Mendocino Whale Festival.