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Things To Do In Dana Point

Things To Do In Dana Point

Dana Point is a beautiful community in Orange County that is recognized for having some of the greatest surfing in the world.

Take advantage of your stay in Dana Point by trying the best things to do in the city. The town of Dana Point in Orange County offers a few fun things to its locals and visitors. It adds beauty to the town, and the good weather allows everyone to roam around the city any time of the day.

Top Attractions in Dana Point

  • Beaches
  • Parks
  • Cruises, Sailing, and Water Tours

Head off on an adventure to the fun things to do in Dana Point, together with your relatives, family, and friends. Whether you want to get your heart racing or relax with a drink on the beach, there's something for everyone.

Find the perfect gift or fulfill your style and taste. This city makes the search easy, from designer options to affordable finds, and this city searches easy—experience shopping in Dana Point and find yourself coming back for more.
See the city in another light. As the sun sets and the parties start doing their magic, you’ll get to know Southern California better. Do it right by experiencing the best of the nightlife in Dana Point.
Master your swing and pivot with the many golf courses in Dana Point. Bring your confidence with you, and you’re good to go.
Create more moments filled with waves of laughter and learning. Capture more smiles as your little ones enjoy the many exciting kids’ entertainment sites in Dana Point.
Experience shopping and relaxation in the most practical way possible. Catch the juiciest deals and discounts in Dana Point now!
Lean back and sway to the rhythm of the southern California beat. Take your family and kids to catch upcoming concerts in the park at Dana Point.
Travels can get better when you know the best routes to take. Tour like a pro by keeping up with the guides in Dana Point.

Popular Things To Do In Dana Point

The Beach

Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point, CA

Located in Dana Point next to the luxury Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel hotel complex and the championship Monarch Beach Golf Links, Salt Creek Beach is one of Orange County's most beautiful beach parks. The beach gets its name from the same-named brook that runs at its northern edge. 

The Monarch Bay Beach Club, located on the island's southern end, provides exclusive members-only meals and beverages. Visitors flock from all over Orange County to swim, surf, and bodyboard at this beautiful beach, which is also known for its many tide pools exposed at low tide, making it a popular family-friendly splashing and beachcombing site. On land, guests may stretch out and relax while playing in the sand or sunbathing along the beach's beaches. Salt Creek Beach Park has numerous lovely walking routes as well as day-use picnic areas.

Doheny State Beach, Dana Point, CA

Doheny State Beach is a magnificent beachfront park in scenic San Juan Bay, owned and managed by California as a state beach park. Two different public beach sections are separated by the mouth of picturesque San Juan Creek on the coastline, accessible by Dana Point Harbor Dr and Park Lantern. The beach, which gets mild, low waves from the adjacent bay, provides good possibilities for swimming, novice surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. During low tide, tidal pools are frequently visible along the shoreline, making the beach an excellent choice for families seeking to splash around and view native marine life. A beach visitor center features educational wildlife displays and an aquarium, while a huge campsite on the beach's southern end offers overnight tent and RV parking.

Baby Beach, Dana Point, CA

Baby Beach, also known as Dana Point Harbor Beach, is the primary beachside section of Dana Point Harbor. It's one of the city's most popular recreational destinations. The beach is a highly popular recreational area for families during the summer, with a protected swimming zone for young and inexperienced swimmers supervised by lifeguards during peak periods. Throughout the year, visitors may enjoy great kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and swimming conditions, as well as fishing at the beach's public fishing pier, which is close to the historic Pilgrim ship replica. The Dana Place Marina, which also acts as a jumping-off point for various public walking routes, offers boating options. 

Dana Point Harbor, Dana Point, CA

Dana Point Harbor or popularly dubbed as "Whale Capital of the World" got its nickname because of its prime viewing locations. The views include migratory gray and blue whales throughout the winter months. The bustling harbor-front is home to a variety of unique retail and dining opportunities, as well as the lovely Baby Beach, which provides great swimming conditions and breathtaking cliffside panorama views. Private yacht and sailboat charters, parasailing tours, sailing and diving classes, and a range of watercraft rentals are all available to visitors. The famous Catalina Express, which regularly travels to adjacent vacation region Catalina Island, departs from the Harbor. A Festival of Whales, a Holiday Boat Parade, and a Tall Ships Festival are some of special events held in the port throughout the year.

World's Largest Mammals

Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safaris

Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safaris provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Dana Point's dolphins and whales up close during the migration season. At certain periods during the year, visitors may join the company's 49-passenger Lily catamaran or the smaller 12-passenger Fast Catboats to get up and personal with orcas, blue whales, and gray whales. Excursions to see wild dolphins, fin whales, Minke whales, and humpback whales, as well as native marine life, including sharks, sea lions, and endangered seabird species, are available all year. All of the trips are conducted by qualified marine life naturalists who provide information on the various animal species and their everyday lifestyles. After returning to the Dana Point Harbor, all participants are in for a special treat of the company's home-baked triple fudge brownies.

Learning About The Ocean

The Ocean Institute, Dana Point, CA

Dana Point's Ocean Institute is one of the city's most remarkable tourist attractions, providing visitors of all ages with hands-on marine and environmental experiences. Every year, more than 100,000 children participate in the institute's biological programming, which includes its annual children's summer day camp.

Hike's In Dana Point

Pines Park, Dana Point, CA

Pines Park in Dana Point is a lovely public park that sits atop a hill directly overlooking Capistrano Beach Park. The charming park, which offers a covered play structure with a climbing wall and tunnel slide for small children to play on, is one of the city's most popular locations for families to play during the summer months. Four-day-use picnic spots with bench seating and grills are ideal for bringing lunches for the whole family to enjoy. A walking route in the park's forested portion provides stunning ocean views, with sunset viewing seats available for watching from the coastline. Visitors can view Dana Point Harbor from the park on clear days. Visitors should be aware that the park does not have public bathrooms and should arrange excursions with children appropriately.

Sea Canyon Park, Dana Point, CA

Throughout the year, Sea Canyon Park in Dana Point, California, provides safe play options for children of all ages. Young children can enjoy a safe play area with swings and climbing structures. There's also a miniature music center with bongos and other rhythm-based activities, are available at the park. Birthday parties, group outings, and family dinners can all be held at the park's day-use picnic tables.

Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center, Dana Point, CA

The Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center is a charming public display center in Dana Point that has nature-themed exhibits created by the Dana Point Historical Society and the City of Dana Point. The center is home to lovely interactive displays showcasing the geology, ecology, and history of the spectacular Dana Point Headlands. Recent restoration and conservation efforts are described. Also, how local environmental groups are working to protect the region's ecosystems.

Capistrano Beach Park, Dana Point, CA

Capistrano Beach Park is Dana Point's main public access beach in the picturesque Capistrano Beach neighborhood. It's managed as a public beach park by Orange County. The beach is renowned as one of the greatest surfing places throughout the year, with exceptional high wave break conditions during favorable weather. The beach's thin sandy coastline parts are popular for pick-up beach volleyball games, and visitors can lounge and sunbathe there.

Farmer's Market

Dana Point Farmers Market, Dana Point, CA

The Dana Point Farmers Market is the region's premier farmers' market event. It takes place every Saturday morning between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. throughout the year. The market is held in La Plaza Park, just north of Golden Lantern, in the city. Attendees can shop for seasonal produce, meats, cheeses, and baked and pantry goods offered by various area producers and farmers.


Restaurants In Dana Point

You won't go hungry at Dana Point. Reservations are needed because this is a favorite location for many Orange County residents.

  • Start your day with The Coffee Importers located at the Harbor.
  • Waterman's Harbor, located on the edge of Dana Point Harbor, provides delicious meals and beautiful views. Lunch or supper, while watching the boats pass by, dine on fresh seafood.
  • Harbor Grill serves mesquite-grilled fish.
  • Casanova Ristorante is a neighborhood favorite, offering up Osso Bucco, pasta Alla Bolognese, and veal marsala, among other Italian staples.
  • Make a reservation at Gemmell's Restaurant if you enjoy French food.


Hotels in Dana Point

There are hotels in Dana Point to suit every budget.

  • Doheny State Beach is direct across the street from the DoubleTree Suites.
  • Book a stay at the magnificent Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel for a genuine treat.
  • Monarch Beach Golf Links is a must-see for every golfer.
  • The Laguna Cliffs Marriott renovated recently is situated on a hilltop with panoramic views of Dana Point and the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Dana Point Marina Inn, the only motel on the Harbor, is a more affordable option yet close to the ocean.


Here's What You Should Know

You may visit Dana Point at any time of the year. Expect that summer can be so crowded, so if your schedule permits, go in the winter, spring, or fall instead. If you're interested in whales, come in March for the Festival of Whales. While the restaurants and accommodations might be expensive, many of the activities are free or inexpensive, making this a great weekend escape.

It would be best to have your family, friends, or loved ones explore what to do in dana point when looking for vacations. You should never miss the fun experience, hiking trails, kid-friendly playgrounds, beautiful beaches to sunbathing, RV camping in the parks, and most especially food.

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