SAN DIEGO--Whale Watch Weekend, Jan. 18 and 19 at Cabrillo National Monument, is an opportunity to learn more about these leviathans--and perhaps catch a glimpse of one in the process. Educational presentations will be given, and rangers will help visitors spot whales from ocean overlooks. The Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the San Diego Natural History Museum and other organizations will present exhibits. Hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The monument is at 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr. (619) 557-5450.
BAKERSFIELD--Train buffs can make tracks to the Model Train Show and Swap Meet, Jan. 18 and 19, at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Vendors will sell model train supplies, and operating model train layouts will be displayed. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 18; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 19. $3 for adults; free for children 12 and under. (805) 589-0391.
IMPERIAL BEACH--Birds of a feather flock together at Veterans Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 18 and 19 for the Bird Festival. There will be bird walks--with maps, and people to point the way along the route--in an area that includes the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. There will also be exhibits on raptors, snakes and other topics. The park is at 8th Street and Imperial Beach Boulevard. Free. (619) 282-8687.
COLOMA--On Jan. 24, the discovery that triggered the Gold Rush will be celebrated in this El Dorado County community 36 miles northeast of Sacramento. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma commemorates James Wilson Marshall's find on Jan. 24, 1848. Activities, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., include demonstrations of rope making, spinning and butter churning and gold panning. Park entry fee, $5 per car. (916) 622-6198.
HOLTVILLE--The city's Carrot Festival turns 50 this year. A parade Feb. 1 begins at 10 a.m. at 5th and Chestnut streets. Afterward, visitors can attend a crafts fair and carnival at Holt Park, at 5th and Holt Avenue. A rib cook-off will be held Feb. 2 starting at about 11 a.m. Free. (619) 356-2925.
Call listed phone numbers for directions.