Explore the Outdoors of Mendocino County
408 or 409.jpg


Outdoor Adventures in Mendocino County California

Lens Tours and Whale Watching at the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

Are you looking for something unique and interesting to do in Mendocino this weekend?

If so, head down to the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse for the Lens Tours and Fort Bragg Whale Festival.

Lens Tour

Eight times per year, the Point Cabrillo Light Keepers Association offers tours of the lantern room and fresnel lens. The tours are between 10am and 4pm and are $5 person. March 16-17, they are offering the tours again in conjunction with the Fort Bragg Whale Festival.

Earlier this month, I had a day off and did the tour. It was fascinating. The tour sizes were small, and the docents shared lots of interesting information. It was super cool to see the lens up close and to learn that it weighs 2 tons!!! Here is a link for more information on the tours.

View from the top of the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse.

View from the top of the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse.

Pacific Gray Whales

The Pacific Gray Whale Migration is getting going. Over 18,000 gray whales pass the Mendocino Coast on their northerly migration. We see gray whales year round but Mid-March through early May is usually the best time to see them as they are traveling slow with their babies close to shore.

There are many great vantage points to see the whales. The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse is a great spot to see whales. During the Fort Bragg Whale Festival March 16-17, there will be docents at the lighthouse to help with spotting whales, loaning binoculars, and sharing information about whales and other wildlife on the Mendocino Coast.

Tide Pool Aquarium

While you are at the lighthouse, be sure to pop in and check out the tide pool aquarium and marine science exhibit. The tide pool aquarium is located in a small building just east of the lighthouse. Usually there is a sandwich board in front of it.

Cate Hawthorne