Dana Point Harbor
Dana Point, CA
March 3-4th & 10-11th
Ccelebrating the annual migration of the majestic California Gray Whale beginning this December, and offering the absolute best whale watching available in Southern California.
The Festival events take place both at the harbor and farther north in the Henessey's Center. We arrived late on day 2... but it was still busy. Parking lots full, street curbs full, we got lucky though and were able to park across the Harbor parking lots in a neighboring shopping center across PCH. Free Shuttle service provided, see website link. Lots of people, lots of dogs walking around. Booths set up with local artists, jewelers, painters, photography clothing designers, water conservation info, there was even one booth with little girls selling avocados. (of course I supported them) I just had to buy a few pieces of sea jewelry that were irresistible to me, Di by the Sea. Artist info on those pieces: www.shellbell.com (custom metal jewelry) and (will get info) There were people lounging on the grass areas, picnics, baby beach was loaded with sunbathers, the harbor was buzzing with boaters and stand up boarders, quite a lot of activity going on.
We missed out on some of the earlier 2nd days activities like the pancake breakfast, diamond dig, sand sculpting competition and rubber ducky race. The sand sculptures were still there, pretty cool, see photos. We were hoping to get in on the BBQ, but believe it or not, they ran out of food ! The only concession we saw had hotdogs and popcorn. Luckily there are lots of restaurants in the harbor to gets some good food, I have eaten at them all, no complaints.
The 4 days of events are loaded with so much to do for both adults and children. Fishing, whale watching, stand-up boarding, boating excursions, maritime events, movies under the stars, music series and more !
We may just end up returning next weekend to get in on more of the activities (calendar 10&11: http://www.festivalofwhales.org/wkend_2.php) and early enough for some refreshments and food. Some of the highlights will be the Cal Rods car club, Beach clean-up, Clamchowder cookoff, Grunion Run... and of course WHALE WATCHING ... by land or sea.