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Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is temporarily closed. All events and workshops are cancelled through the end of April. Learn more...

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Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, 47 acres of botanical bliss fronting the Pacific Ocean

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Whale Watching

Just past the Cliff House lies our coastal grasslands extending to the Pacific Ocean. The Coastal Bluff Trail leads you along the edges of this sensitive prairie where whales and other marine mammals can be spotted throughout the year.

The spring migration of the California Gray Whale has these marine mammals putting on quite a show from the bluffs of the Gardens over the past couple of weeks. You can spot them spouting, spy-hopping, and lob-tailing from our bluffs. A group of lucky visitors even reported seeing a gray whale breaching... a rare sight indeed! 

California Gray Whales: November - May
From November to February, the California Gray Whales can be seen migrating south to Baja. There, the pregnant females give birth. Starting in February and March, the whales migrate back north to Alaska with their newborn calves.

Humpback Whales: April - November
Humpback Whales spend most of their time further offshore than the Gray Whale but can be seen fluking, spy-hopping, and breaching!

Blue Whales: June - October
Occasionally seen from the shore in summer and early fall, these gentle giants produce a tall spout.

 Orcas (Killer Whales): In recent years, these beautiful predators have been spotted off the Mendocino Coast. Unlike other whales, Orcas are not considered to be predictable migrants.

Visit the Noyo Marine Science Center for more information on marine mammals off the Mendocino Coast!

How to spot whales from the shore – CLICK HERE for some helpful hints from The Whale Trail


DID YOU KNOW? The Gardens was one of the first locations on the Mendocino Coast to be added to The Whale Trail! The Whale Trail is a series of sites where the public may view marine mammals from shore. Founded in 2008, the project has expanded from it's roots in Washington to include locations in Oregon, British Columbia, and most recently—the California coastline.