A gray whale off California's coast spotted during the Mendocino Whale Fest
Michele W/Flickr


Mendocino Whale Festival

Thankfully, this event makes whale-watching a lot more fun than just staring at the ocean, waiting to see a spout or a fluke. This annual celebration, timed to coincide with the annual grey whale migration, includes wine and craft beer tasting events, quality arts and crafts, guided lighthouse tours, and, of course, plenty of guided whale watching cruises and talks by noted whale experts. There is also a spirited competition, held in Fort Bragg, with local chefs seeing who can whip up the best chowder.