• Little River Whale Festival

  • The thirteenth 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:

    • Van Damme Visitor Center:  Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 8, 9 & 10, 10am - 3p.m.  FREE. Docents 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.  For more information call 707- 937-4015 or visit www.mendoparks.org
    • Geocaching:  Friday, Saturday & Sunday, March 8, 9 & 10. 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.
    • Art Exhibit at the Gallery at Glendeven Friday, Saturday & Sunday, March 8, 9 & 10 from 9 am to Noon and 3 pm to 7 pm. Linda Ryan's, 'Surfacing: An Artist's Journey' will be available for viewing and purchase.  Event is FREE.  During this event only,  the wine bar at Glendeven is open to the public.  Join us for curated small production Mendocino County wines for purchase by the glass from 3 to 7 during Little River's Whale Festival. 
    • Mendocino Eco Arts “Spring Ranch Barns Benefit Exhibit” Friday, Saturday& Sunday, March 8, 9 & 10 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 9 & 10, ocean permitting, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Cost is $60 per person. Please call for reservations:   707-813-7117.

    • Winemaker Dinner featuring Seebass Vineyards & Family Wines: Friday, March 8, pm, Heritage House Resort, 5200 N Highway One. Six course dinner, paired with six wines $150 per person. Please call for reservations: 707-202-9000.
    • Erin Brazil and Friends Concert:  Friday, March 8, 7:30 pm Abalone Room, Little River Inn, 7901 N Highway One.  Of vintage swing Brazillionaires fame, check out Erin at this intimate acoustic gig. Tickets are $20 in advance at mendoparks.org/whale-festival, or $30 at the door
    • Docent-led Whale Watch Walk: Saturday, March 9, 10 am – 12 pm. Guests can partake in a two-hour guided walk searching for pelagic cormorants, seaside daisies, and or course, whales! Binoculars available. Furry friends welcome, too! Leash required. Suggested donation $5 per person; open to public. Park on the west side of Highway One, opposite Gordon Lane.  Look for the blue flags. www.mendoparks.org  Heavy rain cancels this event. 
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    • Spring Ranch Barn Tour: March 9 & 10,  11 am to 3 pm. Located at 8475 N. Highway One (east side of the highway).  This Barn is an original 1840’s hay barn from Ontario Canada that was saved from the wrecking ball. It was deconstructed by removing the wooden pegs that held the old growth beams together. It was then shipped by rail car and re-assembled at Spring Ranch.  The barn was then renovated by the owners of Spring Ranch using antique salvage from around the world. It features 15′ foot ceilings with exposed beams; Four large antique chandeliers; Herring bone brick floors; Original barn wood paneling; and massive barn doors that open to gardens.  The barn is situated in a meadow surrounded by massive eucalyptus trees and stone and antique iron fencing.
    • Docent-led Barn Tour:  Sunday, March 10, 10:30am – Noon; suggested donation $5 per person. Docent led Interpreter will be leading the Kent-Spring Ranch Barns guided walk “A Tour Through Time.” Park at the Kent-Spring Ranch Estate on the east side of the highway. Look for the blue flags.
      Tour will be held Rain or Shine.
    • Bloody Mary & Bacon CompetitionSunday, March 10, high noon at the Abalone Room at Little River Inn, 7901 N Highway One. Be a judge at this inaugural MendoParks event where both locals and professional bartenders go head to head to claim the prize of Best Bloody Mary and Best Bacon with Bloody Marys. Winners announced at 2 pm. Judging tickets for 5-6 Bloody Marys are $30, available mendoparks.org/whale-festival Or at the door. Two judging tickets per person max (ID required).

    Adventure Passport: Guests can 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. 

    Proceeds from this event will help save the historic Spring Ranch barns located in Van Damme State Park. You can see these iconic landmarks on the ocean side of Highway 1 between Little River and Mendocino. The Spring Ranch Barns are the current project of the Mendocino Area Parks Association’s (MAPA) Park Improvement Fund.  Info at www.mendoparks.org. Thank you helping to save these historic treasures before it is too late!

    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.   2019 Map is being updated.

    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:

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  • 2019 Whale Festival
  • 2019 Whale Festival