2016 Dana Point Festival of Whales
All events are weather permitting
Click here for last minute weather and event updates
Please visit our online map for shuttle stops, routes, parking options and event locations.
Please view the Festival of Whales Event Program, maps, schedules and more to learn all about the Festival. Hard copy programs will be available during the event at various event and exhibit locations and on board all the free shuttles.
EVERDAY OF THE FESTIVAL
The incredible 5000-mile migration of the majestic California Gray Whale from Alaska to Mexico begins in December and continues through March. During this peak season, 40 – 50 whales pass by Dana Point each day, using the Dana Point Headland’s 200-foot cliffs near the harbor as a landmark to check their migration path. Dana Point offers the BEST whale watching along the California Coast – don’t miss it! There’s a whale watching excursion for everyone. If you’re interested in getting a glimpse of these majestic leviathans from land, be sure to visit the Headlands Conservation Park. The Park includes a public trail system, over three miles in length, and links all the parks and open space areas of the Headlands. The system includes pedestrian trails, coastal and beach access, scenic overlooks and the Nature Interpretive Center. The parks and trails can be reached either off of Green Lantern or at Dana Strand Rd., limited parking is available along these streets or at the Nature Interpretive Center parking lot. The trails are open from 7 AM to sunset daily. The Nature Interpretive Center is located adjacent to the Headlands Conservation Park, at the terminus of Street of the Green Lantern. Center Hours: 10 AM – 4 PM. From Dana Point Harbor visitors may take the FREE shuttle to the Ocean Institute and then proceed up Cove Road to the Park. It’s a good work out for those looking for a little adventure and some spectacular views!
CLEAN & GREEN
Help Us Keep the Festival of Whales Clean and Green! The Dana Point Festival of Whales is an ocean-friendly event with many of our booths, displays and exhibits being very close to water’s edge. We ask that all our sponsors and exhibitors keep this ocean location top-of-mind and refrain from using balloons, stickers, temporary tattoos, flyers or other materials that might find their way to the receiving waters of the Pacific Ocean. We also ask all of our guests to keep these practices in mind as they spend a glorious day or weekend taking in the beauty of this special location. Drinking fountains are plentiful for the refilling of water bottles. Please don’t forget to BYO (bring your own) and refill throughout the day. Please help us keep the Festival of Whales clean and green for generations to come.
Click here to learn more
2016 FESTIVAL OF WHALES MERCHANDISE
T-shirts (long and short sleeve) and hooded sweatshirts will be on sale throughout the Harbor during both weekends of the Festival. All clothing items will be available for online purchase through our Festival of Whales Online Store
FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE
Available every day of the Festival from 10 AM to 4 PM (extended service hours the morning of the parade (March 5) and the afternoon of the Whale of a Concert (March 13). Please visit our online map for shuttle stops, routes, parking lot and event locations. Park and ride free all day long and migrate with the whales! Click here for our event map
Daily service during the Festival will be offered between Dana Wharf and the Ocean Institute from 10 AM to 4 PM. Click here for more information
ARTS AND CULTURE
March 5, 6, 12, 13
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. Live entertainment throughout the day! The Dana Point Historical Society will provide free information on local history and display historic photos, books and gifts for purchase. The Festival’s FREE shuttle has a stop in front of “Herb” the topiary whale, adjacent to the display areas.
March 5, 12, 13
Dana Point Fine Arts Outdoor Show – Weather permitting. If cancelled, no make-up date will be arranged. However, the next scheduled art show will be Mother’s Day Weekend on the Boardwalk.
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. The art will be on display at the Harbor Boardwalk along the boat docks in Mariner’s Village on the east side of the Coffee Importers Espresso Bar and Harpoon Henry’s restaurant. Watercolor, oil, acrylic, colored pencil, pastels and photography by many award-winning local artists will be available for purchase. Dana Point Fine Arts annually donates a portion of the proceeds from the show to Dana Hills High School Art Department. For more info on this exhibit visit their website http://danapointfinearts.org.
March 5, 6
Dana Point Historical Society Walking Tour of Town Center – 2 PM meet the guide at the newly restored Blue Lantern Café (Coastal Kitchen), 34091 Pacific Coast Hwy. (corner of Blue Lantern and PCH) for the historic town center Walking Tour. See and hear the stories of historic landmarks, S. H. Woodruff’s 1920s planned community and Bluff Top harbor views, c. 1818 to 1939, that represent the area’s early history. A free Walking Tour brochure of Dana Point is included. For more information, call 949-248-8121 or firstname.lastname@example.org. FREE – donations to the non-profit DPHS Museum appreciated.
Should groups of three or more be interested in a tour the second weekend of the Festival, either March 12 or 13, the Historical Society will take advance reservations. To make a reservation please call the Dana Point Historical Society 949-248-8121 or email email@example.com. Reservations must be made a minimum of three days in advance of the tour.
CARDBOARD CLASSIC DINGHY DASH AND EXPO
Westwind Sailing is honored to host the Kickoff Event for the Dana Point Festival of the Whales, 2016 – the Cardboard Classic “Dinghy Dash”! This 1st annual event promises to be a fun-filled, family oriented day that includes a Cardboard Boat Building Contest and Race (the Dinghy Dash), Vendor Booths, BBQ, Event Emcee – Jim Taylor, Music and Awards! Serious fun for competitors and spectators alike!
The Cardboard Classic is a free event and open to the public from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Baby Beach: 34451 Ensenada Pl., Dana Point Harbor. Our main event is the Dinghy Dash which will feature a beach full of sea hardy captains racing in the harbor with nothing but a paddle and their cardboard ships!
Dinghy Dash Teams will work through the morning designing and building their crafts from corrugated cardboard and duct tape and then competing in age division races in the afternoon.
Cost to enter the Dinghy Dash is $25 per team – beach entry. Click here to pre-register using the code ‘DINGHY’ to receive a discount
All building materials for the Dinghy Dash are supplied. Building materials include: cardboard, duct tape, box cutter knife, sharpie pens … that’s it! No outside materials allowed.
Up to 5 people may participate on any team to build a boat but only one person per team may race in any given race. Adult supervision is required for any Team with members under 13 years old.
Awards will be presented to top racers in each category along with special awards including: The Titanic!
• 8 – 12 years old
• 13 – 17 years old
• Dog (Captain [at least 8 years old] plus a dog!)
CLASSIC CAR DISPLAYS
March 5, 6, 12, 13
This is a must-see display of one-of-a-kind cars! FREE shuttle service available at Island Way and Dana Point Harbor Drive for easy access to the Harbor walkway area.
March 5 & 6
So Cal Woodies – The best of the best will be on display from 10 AM to 4 PM from the official Southern California Chapter of the National Woodie Club. Stroll along the Harbor walkway and enjoy this unique display! The Club’s goal is to promote the wooden car, and the role it has played throughout automotive history, especially in the California surf culture. For more information visit www.socalwoodies.com.
Pacific Coast Corvettes Presents The Legendary Vette – The Harbor walkway will be replete with a several generations of Corvettes the first weekend of the Festival from 10 AM to 4 PM. The Chevrolet Corvette, known colloquially as the Vette, is a sports car manufactured by Chevrolet. The car has been produced through seven generations. The first model, a convertible, was designed by Harley Earl and introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept show car. Myron Scott is credited for naming the car after the type of small, maneuverable warship called a corvette. Originally built in Flint, Michigan and St. Louis, Missouri, the Corvette is currently manufactured in Bowling Green, Kentucky and is the official sports car of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
March 12 & 13
The Austin Healey Association of Southern California, along with the Jaguar Owners club of LA present the British Invasion
Join the British Invasion along the Harbor Walkway from 10 AM to 4 PM and enjoy a unique display of fine British motorcars including Austin-Healeys, Jaguars, Triumphs and others.
Austin-Healey is a British sports car maker established in 1952 through a joint venture between the Austin division of the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and the Donald Healey Motor Company (Healey), a renowned automotive engineering and design firm. It was the first affordable mass produced sports car that could go over 100 MPH. Classic Austin-Healeys, “Big Healeys”, were produced from 1953 through 1967. The company also produced the Austin-Healey Sprite (1958 -69) and the Jensen-Healey (1972 -76). All of the Healeys were active in auto racing including European rallies, Le Mans, and Seibring. Most Austin Healeys were produced for the North American market, and California probably is the home to more Healeys today than any other state. For more, see http://www.austin-healey.org.
Jaguar is also the producer of classic British sports cars. Jaguar got its name by producing a series of successful eye-catching sports cars, the Jaguar XK120 (1948–54), Jaguar XK140 (1954-7), Jaguar XK150 (1957–61), and Jaguar E-Type (1961-75). The company is still producing cars today, more recently being owned by British Leyland, Ford and now by Tata Motors of India. Jaguar is synonymous with British racing prestige, dating back to Stirling Moss’ 1950s heyday. Jaguar enjoyed great success at Le Mans in the 50s – totaling five wins in seven years. It moved into the Formula 1 mainstream when Ford bought Jackie Stewart’s team in 1999, as Jaguar Racing’s first Grand Prix came at Australian in 2000. For more on Jaguars, see http://www.lajagclub.com.
Also joining the Austin Healeys and Jaguars will be other British cars, including Triumphs, Morgans and MGs.
DANA WHARF WHALE WATCHING AND MORE
March 5, 6, 12, 13
The Original 2 Hour Whale Watching Trip
Simply the best – from the originators of whale watching in Orange County and voted #1 five years in a row by Dana Point Times!
Expert captains and certified naturalists narrate each excursion, detailing the whales’ movements through their natural migration path. As the originator of Whale Watching in Orange County, Dana Wharf remains family owned and operated and is exclusively endorsed by world-renowned marine life artist Wyland. Every trip is a new and different adventure, all showcasing the beauty of the Pacific Ocean underwater world right here, off the coast of Dana Point. Kids rock at Dana Wharf and often get to meet the Captain! Marine Mammal “rain checks” ensure you see a good show of whales or dolphins or your next trip is FREE!
Excursions depart every hour, on the hour, from 8 AM to 4 PM during the Festival weekends and every trip is approx. 2 hours. Prices: Adults $45, Senior and Military $35, Children 3-12 years $29, Children 2 and under are always FREE. For reservations call 888-224-0603 or check out our schedule and purchase online
8am Trip Special – Want a whale of a deal? $15 per person on all 8am trips! Hurry, the best deal in town sells out fast. Regular price is $45 – huge savings! For reservations call 888-224-0603 or check out our schedule and purchase online
4pm Sunset Whale Watch Trip – Also take advantage of the wonderful sunsets in Dana Point on our specially priced Sunset Whale Watch trip. Sip cocktails or your favorite wine or beer from our on board bar as you take in the fabulous sunset. All tickets on this 4-6 PM trip are just $29 for adults and seniors and $29 for kids compared to our usual $45 rate for adults and $35 for seniors. (No other discounts accepted on this trip.) For reservations call 888-224-0603 or check out our schedule and purchase online
The 2 1/2 Hour Deluxe Catamaran Adventure – Join Dana Wharf on a special 2 1/2 hour Whale Watching adventure both weekends at 11:30AM and 2PM. Board Dana Wharf’s luxurious 63 ft, state-of-the-art, custom-built OCean Adventures Catamaran for this unique adventure. Featuring a smooth ride and an incredibly spacious EYE SPY viewing deck, this is the perfect vessel for whale and dolphin watching for those seeking a more intimate, educational trip – not to mention a full-service deli-style galley. Hurry, these trips sell out quickly. Our famous “rain check” for marine mammal sightings guarantee applies to these trips as well. Marine Mammal “rain checks” ensure you see a good show of whales or dolphin or your next trip is FREE! Tickets that include the whale watching adventure, lecture and continental breakfast are $55 for adults, $35 for Seniors and Children 3–12, and children 2 and under are always FREE! For reservations call 888-224-0603 or check out our schedule and purchase online
Drone and Go Pro Demo with Our Marine Life Top-of-Mind – How do they do it? How do the professionals fly drones safely and respectfully, while keeping the safety of our marine wildlife top-of-mind?
See how they operate Dana Wharf’s Go Pros and learn how to get that perfect shot while maintaining a safe distance from whales and other marine wildlife. We will have a 30-minute demo during our 2.5 hour trip that focuses on this new technology that we use daily, to get you up close and personal with the marine life we see off our coast. From the expansive decks of the Ocean Adventures our experts will answer your questions and show you how it is done. This is a great trip for all you techies out there that want to learn more and discover tips on operating your drones and Go Pro safely and respectfully in our waters. Offered every day of the Festival of Whales during our deluxe Whale Watch from 2 – 4:30 PM. Click here to purchase tickets
Marine Mammal Lecture Series 10-11 AM at Harpoon Henry’s – This special lecture series from 10 am to 11 AM includes continental breakfast at Harpoon Henry’s. Perfect for those who want a one-on-one educational experience, marine biologists and guests present recent findings on local whales, dolphins and other marine mammals.
Speaker line up:
March 5 – Lei Lani Stelle, PH.D: Blue Whales
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Redlands
Her current research is focused on investigating human impacts on marine mammals off Southern California. She incorporates citizen science into her efforts with funding and assistance from Earthwatch volunteers. In addition, she initiated and co-developed Whale mAPP, a collection of GIS-based web and mobile tools, to encourage public reports of animal sightings. With the assistance of students and volunteers, her research group monitors the distribution, behavior, and physiology of populations of all local cetacean and pinniped species.
March 6 – Doug Thompson author and naturalist: Gray Whales touching the mystery
Doug is an accomplished author, ecologist, internationally recognized naturalist, expedition leader, lecturer, award winning filmmaker, photo-journalist and above all, a man at peace with the planet – dedicated to keeping our Earth the best it can be. Doug’s refreshing viewpoint and inspiring lectures are welcomed time and again by universities, corporations, world-class resorts and retreats.
March 12 – Kirsten Donald Director of Education Pacific Marine Mammal Center: California Sea Lions and Seals
Kirsten Donald is a marine mammal scientist whose career started in 1996. Kirsten earned her Master’s degree in Marine Mammal Science from University of Wales in Bangor, Wales UK. Kirsten has been involved in education and research program development, visitor engagement, animal care and training, marine mammal research and population management analyses, conservation efforts as well as marine mammal stranding and rescue efforts including whales and dolphins, manatees, seals and sea lions.
March 13 – Captain Todd Mansur: Gray Whales
Captain Todd is the lead naturalist at Dana Wharf Whale Watching and a Captain with over 30 years of experience on the water. He is also a director with the Gray Whale Foundation. Todd was born in Laguna Beach and for the past 30 years has had a career on the ocean. Through a variety of experiences he has had the opportunity to observe hundreds of different marine species, both fish and mammals. At the young and impressionable age of 13 he was the only crew member for a 20 passenger operation that fished during the spring, summer, and fall. During the winter he crewed for a whale watching operation. This early exposure to Mother Ocean had a huge impact on Todd. At 19 he actually purchased his own vessel and has continued to work on the ocean and enjoy its bounty in many ways, and in turn has generously shared his up close and personal knowledge with thousands.
Following the lecture for those that want to continue the lecture experience may Board Dana Wharf’s luxurious 63 ft, state-of-the-art, custom-built OCean Adventures Catamaran for a unique adventure departing at 11:30 for 2.5 hours. Featuring a smooth ride and an incredibly spacious viewing deck, this is the perfect vessel for whale and dolphin watching – not to mention a full-service deli-style galley. Hurry, these trips sell out quickly. Our famous “rain check” for marine mammal sightings guarantee applies to these trips as well. Marine Mammal “rain checks” ensure you see a good show of whales or dolphin or your next trip is FREE! Tickets that include the whale watching, lecture and continental breakfast are $55 for adults, $35 for Seniors and Children 3–12, and children 2 and under are always FREE! For reservations call 800.979.3370 or 800.590.9994 for those just attending the lecture the fee is $5 per person. www.danawharf.com To purchase visit www.danawharf.com.
Wyland Whale Watching Art Lessons in the Wild 10 – 10:45 AM – Dana Wharf and The Wyland Foundation have entered into a partnership to offer the most unique and creative experience on the water. Learn from one of the masters of marine art by joining us for a dockside presentation and art lesson aboard the “Ocean Adventure” Catamaran, via video feed, by renowned environmental artist, Wyland! Guests will learn how Wyland has created some of the most well known marine wildlife paintings and sculptures of our era. Children can enter their art in an end-of-season contest for the most accurate portrayal of marine mammals to be judged by Wyland. The winning child will receive a framed limited edition signed and numbered giclee on paper of “Celebrate The Sun” – Grand Prize Valued at over $3,000. Other prizes will be awarded!
The price for the art lesson is $5 per child, with all proceeds going to the Wyland Foundation. The mission of Wyland’s foundation is to give both children and adults alike, the tools they need to become more creative, positive and solution oriented through art. Whale watching excursions are available at an additional cost, and the children who participate are given a free Whale Watching trip to be used on the same day as the art lesson at any time with a reservation and with a paid $45 adult ticket, trips will be departing Dana Wharf every hour on the hour during the Festival of Whales. Click here to register and purchase tickets
March 6, 13
Kids Free Fishing Clinic and Free Fishing Trip 12 PM – 12:30 PM – 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. After the clinic Dana Wharf will be running a fishing trip from 12:45 – 5:15 pm, adults are $46 plus license and equipment, children 12 and under fish for FREE. Extra bonus is the chance of spotting whales, dolphins and other marine life! This trip includes equipment! More information and reservations call Dana Wharf 949-496-5794.
Diamond Dig 11:30 AM – 1PM on Baby Beach, in the Dana Point Harbor. Come to Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club’s Annual Diamond Dig at Baby Beach!! For one hour, starting at noon sharp, you and your child have a whale of an opportunity to become rich by digging for treasure, toys, prizes and for ONE lucky person, a beautiful set of diamond earrings, donated by Marinelli Fine Jewelry.
Kids and adults are encouraged to arrive early at Baby Beach starting at 11:30 AM, pay $10 for your special Diamond Dig shovel and get ready to dig for treasure at noon sharp. Dress as a pirate and get a head start looking for the buried treasure!
DOHENY STATE BEACH
Whale Walk Painting – Whale Painting Fun for Everyone! Join friends and family to help paint a life size, 75-foot long “Fin Whale” that will add to the collection of wonderful whale paintings already on display. We will paint from 9 AM – 2 PM and supply the paint and brushes. You will supply the artist’s touch. Free and open to the public. We will be on the Doheny State Beach “Whale Walk” by the snack bar. Please alert the entrance staff upon arrival so they can direct you to parking and the “Whale Walk.”
Special discounted parking of just $1/hour is available for this event and throughout the Festival weekends. After painting you can hop on the FREE shuttle service and take in the rest of the Festival of Whales activities and displays throughout the harbor. Hourly parking rates at Doheny State Beach are available at the numerous automated payment machine kiosks located throughout the park, or better yet through the PassportParking Mobile Pay app for smartphones and tablets. This app is available for both iPhones and Android phones (App Store and Google Play). Sign up online at https://ppprk.com/park/. The benefit of the PassportParking Mobile Pay application is in addition to making the initial payment for parking, time can also be added remotely in case you are having a great time at the harbor events and don’t want to return to the parking lot just yet to retrieve your car! For more information call: Jess Lopez (Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association) 949-554-4627.
Whale of a Beach Cleanup – Festival of Whales Toast to the Coast!
9 AM – Noon – Bring your work gloves and a recyclable bag or bucket and help clean up Doheny State Beach. Meet Ranger Vicki at the Lifeguard Headquarters and learn more about how you can help maintain our precious coastal resources.
Special discounted parking of just $1/hour is available for this event and throughout the Festival weekends. Hourly parking rates at Doheny State Beach are available at the numerous automated payment machine kiosks located throughout the park, or better yet through the PassportParking Mobile Pay app for smartphones and tablets. This app is available for both iPhones and Android phones (App Store and Google Play). Sign up online at https://ppprk.com/park/. The benefit of the PassportParking Mobile Pay application is in addition to making the initial payment for parking, time can also be added remotely in case you are having a great time at the harbor events and don’t want to return to the parking lot just yet to retrieve your car! FREE shuttle service to Doheny from most Harbor parking lots.
Doheny State Beach’s Mobile Marine Mammal Museum 11 AM – 3 PM – Meets at Doheny State Beach’s Visitor Center. There will be a variety of genuine marine mammal artifacts for visitors to actively learn and gain an appreciation of these magnificent creatures of the sea. Please alert entrance station staff upon arrival so they can direct visitors to appropriate parking location. Please Note: Free vehicle parking at Doheny State Beach for Doheny State Beach’s Mobile Marine Mammal Museum is limited to one hour only. Rain cancels. 949-496-2704 or www.dohenystatebeach.org. FREE
DOLPHIN SAFARI WHALE WATCHING AND MORE
March 5, 6, 12, 13
Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari – Join Orange County’s number one rated whale watching tour on TripAdvisor, Google+ and Yelp. Celebrating 20 years!
Bring the kids, family, and friends for a chance to get up close and personal with gentle gray whales as well as fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales and more, plus five different species of amazing wild dolphins, including mega-pods that can number in the thousands! Capt. Dave’s high-tech catamarans are never crowded with a maximum of 49 passengers and offer an educational and incredibly exciting whale watching experience. And Mrs. Capt. Dave’s yummy triple fudge brownies are served as a special treat on every safari. Mention this online ad for $10 discount; good during Festival of Whales only; discount not applicable on private charters.
Exclusively aboard Capt. Dave’s catamaran sailboat MANUTE’A can you feel what it’s like to swim with dolphins and whales, underwater without getting wet, in the Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. Capt. Dave’s original sailing catamaran DOLPHINSAFARI.COM is so close to the water that it’s like viewing dolphins and whales from a kayak. Both catamaran sailboats feature our Eye-Spy Dolphin Nets to give you a really up close encounter! LILY, our power catamaran, offers luxury whale watching with features that include cushioned seating on the bow and throughout the boat, full galley, beautifully appointed interior, shaded upper sundeck, and state-of-the-art whale research equipment. Our new rigid hull inflatable catamaran, FAST CAT, is turbo charged for fun and with speeds up to 30 knots a small group of up to 12 passengers will spend less time looking for animals and more time enjoying them. ORCA, our luxury motor yacht, is available for intimate whale watching charters for up to 6 guests.
Captain Dave is a marine naturalist, conservationist, photographer, award winning filmmaker and author, and whale watching captain. Frequently called upon as an authority on wild dolphins and whales, he has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and more. Captain Dave has been featured on the Ellen Show and CBS Morning News for his conservation efforts and successful disentanglement of whales. Most recently Capt. Dave was a keynote speaker at the LA Drone Expo where he talked about flying his drone over water in challenging conditions while filming dolphins and whales, including his acclaimed video “Drones Over Dolphin Stampede and Whales off Dana Point and Maui.”
Lily, a Gray Whale Tribute with Special Presentation by Capt. Dave 8:30 to 9:30 AM – FREE tour/lecture/book signing on Captain Dave’s 62-foot luxury power catamaran, a state-of-the-art whale research, rescue, and whale watching vessel named Lily. Named after a gray whale horrifically wrapped in gill net that made national headlines when Capt. Dave and rescue team members disentangled her, Lily is a high tech whale rescue vessel that is also used for whale watching and research. Capt. Dave has made headlines with his whale rescue work including a visit on the Ellen Show and he will be discussing ongoing whale rescue and research that will be taking place on Lily. You’ll also have hands-on fun with research and rescue equipment. Purchase signed copies of Capt. Dave’s book, “Lily, A Gray Whale’s Odyssey”, which won nine awards in 2013. Whale watching trips are available aboard Lily during the Festival! 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, next to Baby Beach. Info: 949-488-2828 or www.dolphinsafari.com.
Capt. Dave’s Carnival 12 to 2 PM – Let’s go for an adventure under the sea! Parents and children alike can create their own treasures at our Treasure Chest Craft Table or bounce the day away in our bounce house. Perhaps you want to take a dive in a simulation of one of the world’s only underwater viewing pods, to see what it’s like to bow-ride with some of Dana Point’s most beautiful inhabitants, or play a game for the chance to win a prize? Face painting will also be available for a small fee. All ages are welcome!
It’s free family-friendly fun for the whole pod! 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, next to Baby Beach. For more information on the Under the Sea Carnival, call us at
949-488-2828 or visit www.dolphinsafari.com.
Capt. Dave Presents Drones Over Whales & Dolphins 2:30 – 3:30 PM – Have you ever wondered how we could use drones for not only whale watching, but also whale research and rescue? Join Captain Dave Anderson for a presentation at the Dana Point Yacht Club with never-before- seen footage of dolphins and whales taken with a drone, along with an up-close view his drone and photographic equipment. Discover how this innovative technology is helping us to learn more about dolphins and whales by providing views we could never see from a boat and how it’s used for whale rescues in the future. Nearly 1,000 dolphins and whales die every day worldwide in fishing gear entanglement.
Captain Dave organized Orange County’s first whale disentanglement group in 2008. Captain Dave is a marine naturalist, award winning filmmaker and author, photographer, conservationist, and whale watching captain. He has received worldwide acclaim and well over 15.5 million views for his breathtaking drone videos featuring dolphins and whales. In 2014 he was a keynote speaker at the Los Angeles Drone Expo.
Throughout the weekend join Capt. Dave for dolphin and whale watching aboard Lily, his 62-foot luxury power catamaran and state-of-the-art whale research, rescue, and whale watching vessel. Safari is $65 per person for 2. 5 hours. Mention Capt. Dave’s drone when booking to receive a $10 discount; cannot be combined with any other discounts.
Whale of a BBQ – Delicious BBQ specialties at affordable prices will be served up from 11:30 AM to 4 PM adjacent to Baby Beach during the Cardboard Classic Dinghy Dash & Expo.
Whale of a BBQ – Delicious BBQ specialties at affordable prices will be served up from 11:30 AM to 4 PM adjacent to Baby Beach during Ocean Awareness Day.
5th Annual Whale of a Clam Chowder Cook Off – 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. Tasting packets will include taste sampling tickets, tasting cups and spoons – only $10 to taste every sample – makes a great lunch! Prizes will be awarded for the People’s Choice Best Chowder, Best Booth Design and Mayor’s Choice. The Perpetual Trophy will be presented at 3 PM. This year enjoy a Beer & Wine Garden for adults over 21 with a valid driver’s license. Kids and adults will both have a chance to win fun gifts when participating at our game booths! All proceeds will benefit Fish for Life, offering programs designed to provide love and inspiration to a multitude of special needs people while teaching fishing skills and ministering to the value of life. http://www.fishforlife.org/
Whale of a Concert BBQ – Scrumptious BBQ specialties will be available from Noon to 5 PM at Baby Beach, including a Spirits Garden for those over 21 years old with a valid driver’s license.
JEFFREY ADAM MEMORIAL SAILING REGATTA
The 5th Annual Jeffrey Adam Memorial Regatta represents the cooperative efforts of the yacht clubs, Sea Scouts, and sailing school that are based in Dana Point Harbor. At its inception, this regatta was a unique event because it included dinghy sailors of all ages and with any affiliation to Dana Point Harbor youth organizations current or past. Jeffrey Adam was a young man unique in that he enjoyed a membership in many of these groups. The little regatta has grown to include racers from San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, Newport Beach and San Diego, and alumni from as far away as the East Coast. Proceeds from this event have benefited youth sailing in Dana Point Harbor.
Spectator cruises are open to the public. Please review the information below to assure that you and your guests are accommodated:
Two Sea Scout keelboats will be used for spectators to see the races on a course located just outside the harbor entrance. Each spectator cruise lasts approximately 80 minutes and starts and ends at the Dana Point Yacht Club (DPYC) dock. The boats will pull away from the dock at these times:
Reservations for a cruise will be on a first-come, first-served basis and can be made starting at 8 AM at the registration desk in the DPYC parking lot on the day of the race. The minimum number of passengers for a cruise is three and space is limited. Parking for DPYC is available on the Island.
Spectators are required to wear appropriate boating footwear – which means footwear that is closed toe and not slippery and that will not damage the boat with either scuff marks or indentations.
MOVIE IN THE PARK
Due to the threat of rain and cold weather on Saturday evening, we have decided to move the Festival of Whales Movie in the Park from Lantern Bay Park to the Dana Point Community Center, 34052 Del Obispo St, Dana Point.
Join us for a great family night while we watch Free Willy: Escape from Pirates Cove. This PG-rated movie is presented by the City of Dana Point Community Services & Parks Department. FREE popcorn, hot beverages and snacks will be available.
Movie will begin at 6:30 PM
For more information call 949-248-3530.
March 5, 6, 12, 13
Harbor Music Series – Presented by the Dana Point Harbor Association in the Dana Wharf Courtyard, Harpoon Henry Grassy Area near Mariner’s Village and at Art in the Park near Island Way from 12 Noon – 3 PM. Enjoy a variety of musical styles and sounds. 949-923-2255 or danapointharbor.com
This event is weather permitting. If cancelled, no make-up date will be arranged.
Concert on the Water – In honor of the whales migrating by Dana Point Headlands “singing their song” the Festival of Whales festivities will include a FREE outdoor concert at Baby Beach with bands performing on the water on a specially designed stage.
Opening up the Whale of a Concert: Singer/songwriter Molly Bergman
12pm – 1pm: The Eliminators (Old School Surf Music)
1:30pm – 3pm: Sapadilla (Calypso/Reggae)
3:30pm – 5pm: Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads (Jimmy Buffett Music)
Bring your beach chairs and blankets and enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment. Scrumptious BBQ specialties will also be available, including a Spirits Garden for adults 21 years & older with a valid driver’s license. Baby Beach is located adjacent to the OC Sailing & Events Center, 34451 Ensenada Place, Dana Point. For more information call 949-248-3530.
OCEAN AWARENESS DAY
Ocean Awareness Day – Presented by the Dana Point Harbor Association, featuring interactive displays, demonstrations and entertainment showcasing ocean and environmental programs and issues related to our ocean. The event is located at Baby Beach at the OC Sailing & Events Center, 34451 Ensenada Place, 11 AM – 4 PM. The event and parking are FREE and there is also FREE shuttle service from most Harbor parking lots. 949-923-2255 or danapointharbor.com
OCEAN INSTITUTE WHALE WATCHING AND MORE
March 5, 6, 12, 13
Ocean Institute Parking information: The Ocean Institute offers free parking for our guests. During this busy festival weekend, there is a FREE trolley service that offers drop off at and pick up service near the Ocean Institute approximately every 15 minutes to multiple parking lots throughout the Harbor and Doheny State Beach.
Ocean Institute – Ocean Education Center open 10 AM to 4 PM – During the festival weekends, a hands-on journey into the mysterious and captivating world of whales will allow visitors to explore a variety of fascinating phenomena unique to these magnificent animals. Guests follow the migration of the gray whale as they move through the facility, starting in Baja, moving on to the California Coast, and ending up in Alaska.
Along the way there will be opportunities to investigate how whales communicate and eat, to see how changes to the marine environment affects them, and to learn about ongoing research.
Additional activities include hands-on dissections, animal feedings, driving a remotely operated vehicle, and touch tanks in which guests touch live sea stars and other tidepool animals. Guests may also explore the underwater world and participate in pop-up experiments in our Headlands and Beyond exhibit.
Non-member Admission: $10.00 adults, $7.50 seniors & children. Members and children under 2 are free.
March 5 & 12
Whale’s Tale Tallship Sailing Adventure – From “Devil Fish” to “Friendliest Whale,” explore how time and discovery have shaped man’s perception of the magnificent Gray Whale. Join us for an exciting tallship sailing adventure as you gain new insights into man’s evolving relationship with the ocean and the giants that roam our California Coast. Join us for a pre-sail whaling talk in the boathouse at 12:15 PM, with sailing from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.
Pricing: Adults: $70.00; Seniors & Active Duty Military: $60.00; Children (12 and under; minimum age 4): $50.00. Members receive a 10% discount. Weekend admission to the Institute is included with the sail ticket purchase.
March 5, 6, 12, 13
Ocean Institute Gray Whale Adventure Cruise – Join the R/V Sea Explorer on a Whale Watching Cruise to view the whales and dolphins that make the coastal waters of Dana Point their home. Each cruise provides passengers with a one of kind experience in assisting our Marine Scientists with collecting samples from the ocean habitat. Our adventures also include hands on activities for the kids onboard! Cruise times are 2.5 hours long beginning at 10 AM and 1 PM on Festival weekends. Weekend admission to the Institute is included with the cruise ticket purchase.
Pricing: Adults:$45.00; Seniors 55 and up: $35.00; Active Duty Military: $35.00; Children (4-17): $25.00; toddlers (3 & under): free. Ocean Institute members receive at 10% discount.
This event is weather permitting. If cancelled, no make-up date will be arranged.
The Festival of Whales Parade – Begins promptly at 10 AM with a route along Pacific Coast Highway beginning at Selva Road and ending at Golden Lantern in Dana Point. FREE shuttle service to and from Harbor parking lots to the parade viewing area will be available beginning one hour (9 AM) from the parade start time. Arrive early, enjoy breakfast harborside, board the free shuttle and then spend the day visiting all the great events located throughout the Harbor. Parade entrants are encouraged to embrace the Festival’s theme of Magical Migration when designing parade floats and costumes. Awards will be given to the Best Display of Parade Theme, Best Musical Unit, Best Youth Group, Best Group Spirit and Best Local Entry. This year’s Grand Marshal is Comedian/Writer/Actress Rita Rudner.
Click here to download the 2016 Parade Entry Application. Parade entry applications are due no later than end of business day February 19, 2016.
RUBBER DUCKY DERBY
Whale of a Rubber Ducky Derby Hosted by the Dana Point Women’s Club, this fun spin on a traditional “Rubber Ducky Race” will be held from 11AM – 2PM at Baby Beach. Duckies may be purchased in advance by contacting Joan Marie Kerr at 949-859-5706 or the day of the event at the DPWC station at Baby Beach. Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. $6 per Rubber Duck or 2 for $10. You do not need to be present to win. Funds raised through this event will be donated to the Dana Point Library’s Children’s Summer Reading Program. www.danapointwomensclub.org.
SAND SCULPTING FUN
Whale of a Sand Sculpting Competition 8 AM to 2:30 PM on Baby Beach – Presented by OC Parks, this is a great event for teams of every kind – from families and friends to hard core sand sculpting enthusiasts – join us! Sculpting creation areas limited to 10 plots of 15’ x 15’ each – first come, first serve! Choose one of four categories: Castles, Whales and Ocean Creatures, Pirates and Ships or Woodies and Surfboards. Contestants start at 8 AM, judging begins at 2:30 PM with awards to follow. Bring your own buckets and tools, dyes and stabilizers not allowed – all natural. Sand provided free! Bring a team of family and friends and join the fun!
SAILING AND PADDLING
March 6, 12, 13
Saling Rides 10 AM – 4 PM – Take a sailing ride and learn how to steer and sail a Capri 14! Ages 5 and up. $15 per boat, three people maximum (half-hour session). Weather and conditions dependent. Lifejackets provided. Find our booth at the OC Sailing & Event Center. Contact Westwind Sailing for details: (949) 492-3035. All proceeds are donated to the Dana Point Aquatic Foundation for educational boating scholarships benefiting At-Risk Youth and Adaptive Boating programs.
Stand-Up Paddling Clinics – Join the SUP craze and learn first hand why it’s the fastest growing water sport today! 45 min on the water clinics held each hour on the hour – weather and conditions dependent. Ages 12 and up, (12 – 14 yr old must be accompanied by an adult) 10 AM – 3 PM. $10 per person. Lifejackets provided. Find our booth at the OC Sailing & Event Center. Contact Westwind Sailing for details: (949) 492-3035. All proceeds are donated to the Dana Point Aquatic Foundation for educational boating scholarships benefiting At-Risk Youth and Adaptive Boating programs.
Street Fair from 10 AM to 3 PM – Pet Project Foundation is once again excited to be partnering with the City of Dana Point and the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce in the Festival of Whales extravaganza.
This year, Pet Project Foundation will be managing the Street Fair on March 5th and is also participating in the Festival of Whales Parade, Whales and Tails Wag-A-Thon.
There will be over 70 vendor booths at the Street Fair, a Pet Costume Contest, music, food trucks, a kiddie area, and so much more!
Stop by the Pet Project Foundation booth to buy a chance to win a bike with a pet bike trailer, gift baskets, souvenirs to purchase, and MORE!
All the money raised helps Pet Project Foundation support the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter where hundreds of animals are saved every year.
This event is FREE and open to the public.
Free Shuttle Service – Well behaved dogs are welcome.
The Grunion Run will not be occurring during the 2016 Festival of Whales. Please check back for details in 2017. Thanks for your interest!