Share Button

Whalewatching from a boat; image by John Birchard
Whale Watching is one of Fort Bragg’s most popular attractions during the winter and spring, when Gray and Humpback whales make their annual migration along the coast. After spending the summer months feeding in the waters of the Arctic, these giant creatures travel south to Baja, California to mate and nurse their young. In late spring, the whales head north again, for another summer of feeding. Whales can very often been seen just offshore at MacKerricher State Park, or many of the other headlands along Fort Bragg’s shoreline. Daily Whale Watching trips depart from Noyo Harbor, and take interested spectators out on the Pacific for a closer glimpse at these gentle giants.

The Fort Bragg Whale Festival, held in mid-March, brings regional microbreweries to town, offering their best pilsners, stouts and ales for tasting at historic Town Hall. Other events include wine tasting, the chowder tasting and competition, arts & crafts fair,  art exhibits and guided whale walks at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and MacKerricher State Park. While in Fort Bragg, don’t forget to plan a whale watching boat tour on the sea with Whale Watching Charter Boats out of Noyo Harbor. Also during the Whale Festival, the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse offers fun and educational activities for the whole family, including information on the migration of our gentle giants of the Pacific.

All of the companies listed on this website under “fishing” also run whale watching excursions during the whale migrations.  Whale watching boats will also take you out any time during the year for sport fishing cruises. You can catch your own salmon, red snapper, or other delicacies!

The whales can also be viewed from shore at these locations:

  • MacKerricher State Park and Glass Beach
  • Pomo Bluffs
  • Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
  • Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park


Share Button


  1. Anthony Suarez

    Hi there, my sister wanted to gather a group of friends to go whale watching for her birthday. We were thinking either the weekend of the 31st coming up or weekend of April 7th. Are you still seeing pods of whales passing through? Was wondering because I know the festivals have been earlier this month.

    1. Hi Anthony,

      We have definitely still seen whales passing through. They are migrating North until around mid-late April so you still have plenty of time. Hope this helps, cheers!


  2. Dan

    id like to go fishing for Albacore are there any charter boats available?

    1. Hi Dan,

      All Aboard Adventures provides Albacore trips if the conditions are safe. Here is their website:
      Anchor Charter provides trips as well, here is their website:
      There may be other businesses down in the harbor as well that aren’t listed online.


  3. Mary Lou Pursell

    Who do we contact to go on a whale watching boat. What times and the costs? Thank you.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Here are some charter boat businesses you can try:
      Telstar Charters (707) 964-8770, Anchor Charter (707) 964-4550, All Aboard Adventures (707) 964-1881