48th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales

March 2-3 & 9-10, 2019

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About the Dana Point Festival of Whales

The Dana Point Festival of Whales began nearly 50 years ago as an annual community event in the coastal town of Dana Point, located in picturesque Orange County, California. During the two-weekend festival held each March, residents and visitors celebrate the migration of gray whales and other marine wildlife with ocean-themed activities and presentations emphasizing education and environmental responsibility.

A wide variety of family friendly activities will take place and the premiere event is, of course, whale watching! With an abundance of year-round whales, dolphins, and other sea life, Dana Point is the Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World.™

48th Annual Festival of Whales Logo by Robyn Rogers

Dolphin & Whale Watching During the Dana Point Festival of Whales

Experience up-close wild dolphins, gray whales, humpback whales, fin whales, sea lions, and so much more! Mere minutes from the harbor, the waters off Dana Point are teeming with all kinds of marine wildlife for you to enjoy. Bring the kids, family, and friends for a chance to connect with dolphins and whales underwater in our exclusive Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods on our catamaran sailboat Manute’a. Or, get within arm’s reach of the animals on our fast and adventurous zodiac, Fast Cat.


In addition to whale watching tours, we are hosting two special events at this year’s Festival of Whales.

Festival of Whales Carnival

Captain Dave’s Under the Sea Eco Carnival

Date: Saturday, March 9, 2019

Time: 12 to 2 pm

Location: 24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA

Cost: Free Entry

It is adventure time again with Captain Dave and his crew!  Join us at our carnival, and learn how you can do your part to keep our ocean clean while still having fun.  Bounce the day away in our under the sea bounce houses, have fun at our selfie station, come see how much waste we can fit in our fluke, and learn about different ways we can recycle household items.  Dive deep with Captain Dave’s one-of-a-kind Underwater Viewing Pod simulation to see what it’s like to bow-ride with some of Dana Point’s most beautiful inhabitants while you wait for a chance to get your face painted. All ages are welcome! Carnival entry is FREE, face painting available for a small fee.

Gray Whale with Metal Frame Around Head

Capt. Dave Presents Entangled Whales: What Can We Do?

Date: Saturday, March 10, 2018

Time: 2 to 3 pm

Location: OC Sailing and Events Center, 34451 Ensenada Pl, Dana Point, CA

Cost: FREE

Join Captain Dave Anderson for an informative presentation about whale entanglement and rescue. Learn about recent disentanglements that Captain Dave and others were hands-on involved with. You’ll discover more about what is being done to help these animals, and also what you can to do to make a difference. Throughout the presentation you’ll enjoy amazing rescue footage and drone video, and have the opportunity to look at and touch the special equipment used to help entangled whales.