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Mendocino Whale Festival

MENDOCINO, Calif. — Wine tasting and whale watching will be the featured attractions of the 26th Annual Mendocino Whale Festival March 1 and 2 in Mendocino.Many wineries will set up tasting stations in inns, galleries and shops throughout Mendocino Village and Little River, while the area’s top chefs produce their favorite seafood chowders in a tasting event. A marine mammal art exhibit, plein-air (live outdoor painting demonstrations) and docent-led walks are all part of the two-day festival. With some 20,000 gray whales migrating north from birthing grounds in Mexico to their winter home in Alaska, there will be plenty of whales to view from the Mendocino Headlands State Park, which surrounds Mendocino Village. Major events include:
  • Wine Tasting in Mendocino’s shops-Saturday only 12-4pm, $30. Register at Welcome Centers: Crown Hall-Main St, the Ford House-Main St. Event brochures, t-shirts and totes available. 21 & over only  

  • Chowder Tasting in Crown Hall, Saturday from 11am-till the chowder runs out, 4 tastings for $5. Crown Hall located at 45285 Ukiah St., Mendocino. T-shirts and totes available during event.  

  • Whale Watching walks on the headlands and Gray Whale Exhibit at the Ford House Visitor’s Center, Saturday and Sunday. Call 937-5397 for more information and hours Ford House Visitor Center located on ocean side of Main Street, Mendocino.  

  • Jughandle Creek Nature Center on-site naturalist will set up guided whale watching walks by reservations and will provide spotting scopes and educational materials. Contact: Helene Chalfin, 964-4630 or email: jughandle@creek.org  

  • Lighthouse Activities, Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse exhibits and children’s activities on Saturday and Sunday, 9am-4pm Includes tide pool exhibit, lighthouse history, bird walks from Audubon Society, whale watching, and a Marine Mammal Center of Sausalito rescue demonstration. Docents & naturalists on hand. Parking $3  

  • Plein-air Artists in the Village Weather permitting! See local artists painting on the Mendocino Headlands, Saturday  

  • 4th Annual Marine Wildlife Exhibit at the Mendocino Art Center, 10-4pm, Little Lake St., Mendocino. Call 937-5818 features nationally and locally honored marine wildlife artists including the late JD Mayhew, designer of Whale Festival logo  

  • The Coast KOZT-FM and Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce presents a whale film by Eric Christensen, Saturday at Crown Hall, 6pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door.  

  • Whale Watching Cruises from Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg all day both Saturday and Sunday, call Chamber of Commerce for charter boat referrals, 707-961-6300 between 9-5 on weekdays, 9-3 on Saturday  

  • Whale Watching by Horseback, call Chamber of Commerce for referrals, 707-961-6300 between 9-5 on weekdays, 9-3 on Saturday.Featured wineries: -Albertina Wine Cellars -Barra of Mendocino -Claudia Springs -Esterlina Vineyards -Fife Vineyards -Frey Vineyards -Graziano Family of Wines -Handley Cellars -Husch Vineyards -McNab Ridge Winery -Meyer Family Cellars -Navarro Vineyards -Neese Vineyards -Scharffenburger Cellars
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