Dana Point is known as the “Whale Capital of the West,” and for good reason.
Not only is it a popular place to see all kinds of whales – gray, blue, fin, orca – but it also plays host to a big event spanning two weekends that celebrates the massive mammals that like to vacation off our coast.
The 44th annual Festival of Whales kicked of last Saturday with the traditional Whale Parade on PCH ( Pacific Coast Highway) and continues March 14-15 – with a variety of events taking place in and around the harbor, for this upcoming weekend, here's a list of the events happening on both days and specific date events:
- Water Taxi
Daily service during the Festival will be offered between Dana Wharf and the Ocean Institute from 10 AM to 4 PM. Round trip tickets are $5 per person. Present your Metrolink ticket, OCTA bus pass or 91 Express Lanes transponder and ride the water taxi for only $3 round trip per person. Park and ride and take in all the great sights from the water! Your captain will share interesting facts and features about the Dana Point area and it’s fascinating history.
- Art in the Park 10 AM – 5 PM Local artists along with students from Dana Hills High School will be displaying a variety of works, utilizing unique mediums on the grassy areas at the corner of Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive.
- Dana Point Fine Arts Association Show & Sale The Dana Point Fine Arts Association, a nonprofit organization, will host an art show and sale from 9:30 AM to 5 PM.
- Whale of a Classic Car Display – The Southern California Classics Car Club will display a variety of classics and hot rods from 10 AM to 3 PM.
- Kids Free Fishing Clinic and Free Fishing Trip ( March 15th) Dana Wharf Sportfishing invites all children to come to their dock side fishing clinic and learn hands on techniques on fishing from the experts. Prizes will be raffled off at the end of the clinic – 12:00 – 12:30 pm.
- Capt. Dave’s Kids Carnival 12 to 2 PM (March 14th) – Come one come all, to Captain Dave’s Carnival. Step right up, and have some fun, drop by our Dolphin Deck arts, crafts and sun. FREE fun for the whole “pod.” Especially kids 4-11, will enjoy crafts, bounce houses and prizes
- Capt. Dave Presents Drones Over Whales & Dolphins 2 – 4 PM (MArch 14th) Have you ever wondered how we could use drones for not only whale watching, but also whale research and rescue? Join Captain Dave Anderson at the OC Sailing & Events Center for a presentation with never before seen footage of dolphins and whales, along with an up-close view of the equipment used during the making of that footage.
- Free Award Winning Movie Viewing 11 AM to 3 PM ( March 14th) New this year: watch for FREE Capt. Dave’s breathtaking video “Drones Over Dolphin Stampede and Whales”.
- 4th Annual Whale of a Clam Chowder Cook Off (March 14th) Sample a variety of tasty chowders from local restaurants and organizations and then vote for your favorite from 10 AM to 2 PM at Baby Beach grassy area.
- Whale of a Concert BBQ (March 15th) Scrumptious BBQ specialties will be available from Noon to 5 PM at the OC Sailing & Event Center adjacent to Baby Beach, including a Spirits Garden for those over 21 years old with a valid driver’s license.
- The 7th Annual Festival of Whales Grunion Run 10K & 5K Run/Walk and Kids’ 1K Run (March 15th) will take place in Doheny State Beach. This is a fast and flat scenic run / walk along the coast and through beautiful Doheny State Beach.