Travel Guide to California - - NORTH COAST -

WHALES AND WINE Gray whales pass by Men­do­cino in Novem­ber on their way south for the win­ter. At the Men­do­cino Whale Fes­ti­val, you can sam­ple all man­ner of chow­der, lo­cally brewed beer and wine, while—with any luck—the pass­ing cetaceans spout just off the Men­do­cino head­lands. March 4 men­dowhale.com

KINETIC SCULP­TURE RACE Peri­patetic artists of ge­nius or pos­si­bly bor­der­line san­ity gather each Me­mo­rial Day week­end to race gi­ant, whim­si­cal, peo­ple-pow­ered sculp­tures from Ar­cata to Fern­dale along a 40-mile course that in­cludes a cross­ing of Hum­boldt Bay. It’s called “the triathalon of the art world.” May 27-29 ki­net­ic­grand­cham­pi­onship.com

BIG­FOOT DAYS The ear­li­est and most per­sis­tent sight­ings of that elu­sive crea­ture known as Big­foot have hap­pened around the Siskiyou Moun­tain town of Wil­low Creek. Each year on La­bor Day week­end, the com­mu­nity fetes its furry friend with Big­foot Days. Don’t ex­pect to see the big guy him­self, but you’ll en­counter a num­ber of peo­ple who claim to have met him. Sept. 2 big­foot­coun­try.net

AL­FRESCO ART Plein air art—that is, art cre­ated out­side, with the world as sub­ject—is cel­e­brated at Plein Air at the Lost Coast. Work­shops, com­pe­ti­tions, lec­tures, na­ture hikes and the paint­ing of a com­mu­nal mu­ral are all part of the fes­ti­val in the Hum­boldt County town of Shel­ter Cove. Sept. 28-Oct. 2 pleinairatth­elost­coast.com

MUSH­ROOM MA­NIA More than 3,000 va­ri­eties of ev­ery­one’s fa­vorite fungi grow along the North Coast, and each fall Men­do­cino County cel­e­brates with a fes­ti­val of mush­room­pick­ing tours, mush­room-and-wine pair­ings, spe­cial mush­room menus, mush­room art—even mush­room-ac­cented cock­tails. Nov. 3-12 vis­it­men­do­cino.com/men­do­cino-county-events

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