It’s a closely guarded secret that Mendocino County is one of the best spots in the world for whale watching, and the month of March is the best time to observe these majestic ocean creatures from the shoreline as they make their annual migration home to the colder waters of the north, many with baby calves in tow. This March, the Little River Inn (www.LittleRiverInn.com), a family-owned and operated resort located on the Mendocino Coast, invites guests to partake in the many delights of the family-friendly, Little River Whale Festival taking place March 11-13, 2016. In addition, the Little River Inn is offering two fabulous lodging specials – the Little River Inn Whale Of a Sale(March 10-13) and the Storm Watcher Rate promotion (Sun-Thu in March) – to coincide with the migrating of the whales. And to usher in Spring, Little River Inn Hosts its Annual Easter Bunny Camp and Brunch in support of the Mendocino Unified School Enrichment Program (http://muse.mcn.org/) and invites guests and locals to get up close and personal with creepy, crawly critters with its ”Don't be Scared, It's Only a Reptile” event in support of Mendocino County’s Earth Day program.
This year marks the seventh annual Little River Whale Festival in Mendocino. Offering lodging specials at properties throughout the seaside town of Little River, CA (including two lodging specials at the Little River Inn), the festival offers a host of events, including a food and wine tour for adults and a number of family-friendly activities. Below is just a sampling of events and experiences inn guests and locals can partake in throughout the weekend:
- Taste of Little River: Hosted on Saturday, March 12, from 1 to 4 p.m., festivalgoers can sip local wines and nosh on appetizers from participating businesses in and around the small town of Little River. Tickets are $30, and can be purchased by calling Little River Inn at 707.937.5942. Includes a keepsake wine glass.
- Kayak Mendocino Sea Cave Tour: Paddle through sea caves and meet the local harbor seals, sea stars, algae, and shorebirds. Tours offered March 12 & 13, ocean permitting, at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Cost is $60 per person. Please call for reservations: 707-813-7117.
- Whale Watch Walk: Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Guests can partake in a two-hour guided walk searching for pelagic cormorants, seaside daisies, and or course, whales! Binoculars available. Furry friends welcome, too! Leash required. Free and open to public.
- Adventure Passport: Guests have the opportunity to enter the Little River Whale Festival Passport Contest. For each festival activity attended guests will earn one sticker. The collection of three or more stickers will allow guests the chance to win lodging, food, and adventure prizes at participating businesses throughout Little River. Passports are available at each festival or event site.
Further information and details regarding the Little River Whale Festival can be found by visiting http://mendowhale.com/page/
On the weekend of the Little River Whale Festival, Little River Inn will be offering its Little River Inn Whale of a Sale lodging special. Valid for the nights of Thursday, March 10 through Sunday, March 13, 2016, guests who book a two-night stay during these dates will receive a third night free. Little River Inn Whale of a Sale is offered on all room types based upon availability. Room rates start at $189 per night for a Traditional Ocean View Room.
Additionally, every Sunday-Thursday through the end of March, Little River Inn Storm Watcher Rate offers Main Property Luxury Rooms at $189, Fireplace Rooms at $159, and Traditional Ocean View Rooms at $129. These rates are reflective of a 20% discount over rack card rates and require a two-night minimum stay.
While all guest rooms at the Little River Inn offer panoramic views ideal for private sightings of the spring whale migration, guests have the opportunity to get even closer to these majestic marine mammals with a whale-watching excursion. The Little River Inn has partnered with Telstar Charters, a licensed whale‑watching boat out of Noyo Harbor. Costs for the trip is $40 per person and can be added on to any of the Little River Inn’s existing lodging packages. This package can be booked by calling 888.INN.LOVE or 707.937.5942.
***Note: Telstar Charters trips are daily throughout the month of March, weather permitting.
The Saturday before Easter, guests and locals are invited to hop on over to the inn’s annual Easter Bunny Camp. Held on March 26, 2016, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., littles can hunt for Easter eggs, meet the Easter Bunny, get their face painted, and partake in a host of spring-themed arts, crafts, and games. Cost is $10 per child with a portion of ticket sales benefiting the Mendocino Unified School Enrichment Program. Children can fuel-up for the big hunt at the Little River Inn’s Bunny Brunch.
Held in the main dining room, the breakfast includes a bunny pancake, egg, and hot cocoa. Cost is an additional $5 per child. Space is limited for both events so reservations are required. To book, call 707.937.5942 or 888.INN.LOVE.
For it’s first time and as part of Mendocino County’s Earth Day events the Little River Inn is proud to present ”DON’T BE SCARED, IT’S ONLY A REPTILE.” Held on Saturday, April 16, from 9 to 11 a.m., the program teaches children of all ages all about reptiles and other creepy crawly critters through an informative presentation by Al Wolf and friends from the Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, based in Sebastopol, CA.
Snakes and lizards will be available to touch, feel, and observe in addition to a host of other activities and exhibits to explore. Healthy snacks will be provided too! This event is free and open to inn guests and the general public.