“To inspire wonder, discovery, recreation and stewardship of our

natural and cultural treasures in Mendocino County’s State Parks”



Throughout the month of March each year! Check back for event information.


March 4th & 5th

Explore the beautiful village of Mendocino where there are plenty of whales to view from the surrounding Mendocino Headlands State Park. Chowder, Beer and Wine Tasting options festoon pedestrian-friendly lanes, while you explore art exhibits, local shops and Inns. 


45035 Main Street, Mendocino Village, open 11am to 4pm daily, 707.937.5397

March Exhibit at The Ford House: Whale Tales – Exhibit featuring bones from a Gray Whale, information regarding the gray whale migration, and a whale quiz. Knowledgeable docents will be on hand throughout the Whale Festival with tips on when and where to watch for whales, and to answer questions regarding gray whale natural history.



Mendocino Headlands/Ford House Visitor Center

Gray Whale Program 

March is the time to see gray whales migrating north along the Mendocino Coast. Join park naturalists at Ford House Visitor Center on Saturdays March 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 11:30 am. An additional whale program is offered at 2 pm on March 4. Learn about gray whales and walk out to the headlands to look for whales. Binoculars will be available for loan.




March 10th, 11th & 12th

The Little River Whale Festival offers lodging specials at properties throughout the seaside town of Little River, CA, a food and wine tour, family fun activities, and nature adventure all rolled into one weekend!

Be sure to stop by the Van Damme State Park and Visitor Center, located along Hwy 1 and three miles south of Mendocino.  The visitor center will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10-3 p.m.  Volunteer park hosts will share the history and environment of our park, which features coastal Spring Ranch trails, a lush Fern Canyon, a scenic riparian trail system, a Pygmy Forest interpretive walk of miniature mature trees.

The eight annual LITTLE RIVER WHALE FESTIVAL offers lodging specials at properties throughout the seaside town of Little River, CA, family fun activities, and nature adventure all rolled into one weekend! Below is just a sampling of events and experiences inn guests and locals can partake in throughout the weekend:

Geocaching:  Friday, Saturday & Sunday, March 10, 11 & 12. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices.  There are a number of geocaches hidden throughout Little River.  Locate the hidden containers (geocaches) outdoors and then share your experiences online.  All Little River geocaches contain Little River Whale Festival stickers to use as part of this Passport Experience.  Go to www.geocaching.com and/or download the geocaching app for iPhone or Android.  Use zip code 95456 to see a map of Little River Geocaches and you're on your way! 
Note:  All legitimate geocaches are on public land.  Please do not trespass during your geocaching adventure.

Mendocino Eco Arts “Spring Ranch Barns Benefit Exhibit” Friday, Saturday & Sunday, March 10, 11 &12 Little River Inn ; 8 am – 9 pm, FREE, Main Dining Room at Little River Inn.. Art Exhibit of the Springs Ranch Barns benefiting Mendocino Area Parks Association. See Front Desk for your passport Contest sticker.

Kayak Mendocino Sea Cave Tour: Paddle through sea caves and meet the local harbor seals, sea stars, algae, and shorebirds. Tours offered March 11 & 12, ocean permitting, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Cost is $60 per person. Please call for reservations:   707-813-7117.

Van Damme State Park: Friday, March 10, 6pm -7:30pm, Campfire Program on Van Damme state beach.  Suggested donation $5 per person. There is a Whale Parade out there in the Pacific Ocean and we have front row seats. Join local State Parks Naturalists and discover what the gray whale's annual migration is all about as well as other interesting whale trivia.  This interactive Program includes live music, games and prizes and is fun for all ages.  Questions and discussion to follow.  Marshmallows and Hot Chocolate provided!  Dress in layers. *Note.  Rain will cancel*

Docent-led Whale Watch Walk:   Saturday, March 11   10 – noon.  Suggested donation $5 per person. 
A two hour guided walk searching for pelagic cormorants, seaside daisies and of course, whales!  Binoculars available, dogs allowed on 6 ft leash. Park on the west side of Highway One, opposite Gordon Lane.  The trail is easy with only a slight incline.  Round trip is approximately one mile.  Dress in layers.  Wear comfortable shoes.  Bring water.  Look for the blue flags.Heavy rain cancels this event.

Concert-Gwyneth Moreland and Friends: Sunday, March 12, 3 pm Abalone Room, Little River Inn.  Tickets are$20 advance/$25 Door – Gwyneth Moreland and Friends, Celebrating her new album CiderJoined by David Hayes, Morgan Daniel and Gene Parson. Tickets available at the Music Merchant, Moore’s Books, ICONS & Little River Inn. Will Call reservations @ 1-800-INN-LOVE or 707-937-5942. This is benefit for the Albion-Little River Fire Department.

Adventure Passport: Guests have the opportunity to enter the LITTLE RIVER WHALE FESTIVAL PASSPORT CONTEST. For each festival activity attended guests will earn one sticker. The collection of three or more stickers will allow guests the chance to win lodging, food, and adventure prizes at participating businesses throughout Little River. Passports are available at each festival or event site. 

Further information and details regarding the LITTLE RIVER WHALE FESTIVAL can be found by visiting, http://mendowhale.com/page/littleriver. Additional event details, Little River discounts, and specials during the festival can also be found by following the festival’s online map at, g.co/maps/yae5b

WHALE OF A SALE … LODGING SPECIAL   Stay two nights during the festival and get the third night free! ALL OVER TOWN. Call your favorite Little River lodging establishment for details. Here are the choices, to date:

Heritage House Resort
5200 N. Highway One, 707-202-9000

Andiron Seaside Inn & Cabins
6051 N. Highway One, 800-955-6478

Dennen’s Victorian Farmhouse
7001 N. Highway One, 800-264-4723

Inn at Schoolhouse Creek
7051 N. Highway One, 800-731-5525

Cottages at Little River Cove
7533 N. Highway One, 707-937-5339

Little River Inn
7901 N. Highway One, 888-INN-LOVE

Glendeven Inn
8204 N. Highway One, 800-822-4536



March 18th & 19th

 Enjoy Chowder and microbrew tasting while visiting our local shops and inns, and whale watch from Pomo Bluffs in Fort Bragg, as well as from miles of beaches.

ENJOY THE EVENTS AT MacKerricher State Park, located three miles north of Fort Bragg on Highway 1, is an ideal location for watching the whale migration.  A wheelchair accessible boardwalk allows access to the headlands of Laguna Point with stunning views of the coastline. Trained docents will present public whale walks with use of binoculars and a spotting scope to help visitors study whales and other fascinating marine and bird wildlife. 

You may also visit the rare, reconstructed Gray Whale Skeleton on permanent display near the visitor center and entry kiosk. Events are free of charge, for additional information call (707)961-0471 or visit www.mendoparks.org.   



Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park, located between Hwy 1 and Point Cabrillo Drive, occupies a spectacular headland thrusting out into the Pacific Ocean. Park and walk the half-mile down the access road leading to the lighthouse and gift shop or hike the trail through the grasslands. Accessible parking is available in front of the light station residences. 

 Visiting Point Cabrillo for the Whale Festival supports the Education Program.  Donations and profits help reach over 1,000 students and over 400 adults learn firsthand about the cultural and natural history at Point Cabrillo. Instructors not only teach, they volunteer countless hours painting and refurbishing the Marine Science Exhibit, docent during Whale Festival, conduct Road Scholar tours, and lead lens tours into the lighthouse tower.  For more information, visit www.pointcabrillo.org. 

Visit http://pointcabrillo.org/visit/events/ for more information