6th Annual Whalefest Monterey 2016

Fisherman's Wharf

January 23-24, 2016


Laguna Seca RV Park at the Laguna Seca Recreation area is the perfect place to stay if you are coming for this fantastic event...just 15 minutes drive to Fisherman's Wharf from Laguna Seca RV Park.

This free fun and educational, interactive family event for all ages celebrates the migration of the gray whales!


Whalefest benefits many local and national marine organizations that inspire, educate, explore and empower the public to protect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The two-day event will feature many activities including:

*A 60-foot mode of Humphrey the Humpback Whale that you can climb inside of!

*Squid dissection by scientists from the Hopkins Marine station and interactive displays from the Pacific Shark Research Center. 

*Learn more about the Whale Entanglement Team (WET)℠ by Marine Life Studies that help rescue the increasing number of entangled whales. 

*Gyoataku, the Japanese art of stenciling fish, will be a fun activity for kids from Noon to 4:00 pm both days in front of Abalonetti Bar & Grill as well as scrimshaw-making with soap. 

*MY Museum will bring Wheelie Mobilee with lots of interactive activities for kids.

*There will also be the very popular Abalone Races coordinated by the Moss Landing Marine Labs with abalone donated by the Monterey Abalone Company. The Abalone Races will be held 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m near the Wharfside Restaurant.

*There will also be photo ops with costumed animals roaming the Wharf area including a whale, leatherback turtle and the Bag Monster.

*Monterey Bay Fisheries Historian Tim Thomas will conduct historic Whalefest Walking Tours at 10 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

*There will also be lots of great live music including the Monterey High Jazz Band, Kuumbwa High School HoPortnor Jazz Band, Jonah and the Whale Watchers, Nick Fettis & His "Orca" stra,

Whalefest Monterey world-renowned marine scientists, researchers, authors and historians will speak at the Museum of Monterey, Stanton Center, 5 Custom House Plaza, next to Old Fisherman’s Wharf.  This year’s presentations focus on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and its wildlife; climate change, weather and water anomalies and their affects on marine life; whale entanglements and rescues; and local marine history.

Whalefest goes on rain or shine.   If there is inclement weather, the music and booths will be inside the giant tent on the Custom House Plaza.

While you're there, take a whale watching boat tour!


Tips for First-Time Whale Watchers

Monterey's knowledgeable whale watch leaders have several tips for novice whale watchers.

  • Plan ahead: Make reservations in advance as trips can fill up fast.
  • Dress Warm: Even if the weather seems warm on the dock the ocean air can get frigid so be sure to wear multiple layers. 
  • Wear sunscreen & shades- Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are essential, as you can still get burnt even if the sun is not visible.
  • Wear flat, rubber-soled shoes: The deck is likely to get wet as you sail, and a wet deck is a slippery deck.
  • Take sea-sickness medication: Prepare for your excursion by taking seasickness medication at least an hour before boarding your boat. This will give the medication time to take effect and ensure that you can enjoy the whale watch without getting queasy. 
  • Secure your camera or binoculars- Don't loose your favorite tech gadget to the sea! Make sure that your cameras, binoculars and other gear are strapped securely around your neck (or wrist, for shorter straps)

Whale Watching Tours

Chris' Fishing and Whale Watching

48 Fisherman's Wharf #1 , Monterey, CA 93940
Phone  (831) 375-5951
Deep Sea Fishing & Whale Watching tours year around in the third largest deep submarine canyon in the world.

Monterey Bay Whale Watch

84 Fisherman's Wharf , Monterey, CA 93940
Phone  (831) 375-4658
Monterey Bay Whale Watch offers year-round whale watching trips to observe the spectacular diversity and abundance of whales and dolphins

Princess Monterey Whale Watching

96 Fisherman's Wharf #1 , Monterey, CA 93940
Phone  (831) 372-2203
Tollfree  (888) 223-9153 Reservations
When safety, experience, comfort and quality count, choose Princess Monterey Whale Watching for an experience of a lifetime!

Sanctuary Cruises Whale Watch

7881 Sandholdt Rd
Dock A , Moss Landing, CA 95039
Phone  (831) 917-1042
Year-round whale watching and special charters on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
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