Dana Point

Dana Point is known as much for its fascinating culture and comfortable weather as it is for the surfing spots and varied marine life.

Dana Point

Dana Point is one of the premier cities to live in California, and for good reason. Situated in Southern Orange County, this city is most notable for the Dana Point Harbor, one of the only harbors that runs alongside the Orange County coast. Given its proximity to sandy beaches and pristine waterfront, Dana Point is a very popular destination to enjoy water activities of all kind.

It wasn’t until the 1920’s that a city began to take form. Today, Dana Point is known as much for its fascinating culture and comfortable weather as it is for the surfing spots and varied marine life. One aspect of the city immediately noticeable to anyone who enters is its mass appeal to practically any lifestyle. With plenty of paved trails for running, dozens of specialty shops, and many delicious eateries, you’re sure to have a fun and eventful time in the city no matter your tastes.

Community Features & Hot Spots

The Dana Point Harbor

The heart of Dana Point is the Dana Point Harbor. This harbor was first built in the 1960’s and now serves as home to a large variety of restaurants and shops as well as a marina. If you’re looking to have some fun in the sun, the Dana Point Harbor is just the place to be. The harbor is a great spot for fishing, sailing, and a whole host of other water activities. For fishing, you have several options at your disposal. You can cast a line out from the shore or take a kayak out to the open sea for a chance at larger game.

The Dana Point Harbor is known as one of the most romantic locations in all of Southern California, which is readily apparent upon taking a sailboat out on the surrounding waters. Rent a sailboat or sail by private charter if you’d like to take a trip on the open ocean. As for dining, some of the best restaurants in Dana Point are situated around the harbor. While most of these eateries specialize in seafood, the cuisines are varied.

If you’re looking to enjoy the day shopping, the Dana Point Harbor plays host to a variety of shops, including fashionable clothing, artisan-style jewelry, and local specialty goods and delectable eateries.

Once dinner is through and the night begins, you’ll have plenty of entertainment and nightlife options to select from. Various events, concerts, and festivals are held at the harbor each month. When the events are not in season, the Dana Point Harbor is still filled with a plethora of options to appeal to all types of people seeking nightlife and entertainment including live music, drinks with an ocean view, and more!

Salt Creek Beach

Given its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the weather in Dana Point is always mild and comfortable. While there are plenty of parks and recreational areas throughout Dana Point, Salt Creek Beach & Park is among the most popular. This place is basically a surfer’s paradise. If you’re someone that likes taking to the waters on a surfboard, you’ll be greeted by massive waves, due to the offshore reef nearby causing substantial swells. If you’re not exactly fond of surfing, this beach offers a lot more for you to enjoy, from picturesque views to sunbathing. There’s also a big park just off the beach that houses a variety of picnic tables and BBQ grills, so don’t hesitate to take the family.

Doheny State Beach

Another protected beach in the city of Dana Point is Doheny State Beach. This beach is particularly popular among families that are simply looking to enjoy the sun and spend some quality time together. The entire beach covers just over 62 acres of land. Towards the north of the beach is a great surfing spot, while the campgrounds are located to the south of the beach.

As you walk along the beach or swim in its waters, try to spot some of the local marine life, which is in abundance at the Doheny State Beach. Dolphin, sea urchin, stingrays, and sea bass are among the most common species you can expect to see during your time at the beach. This beach also plays host to the Doheny Blues Festival, an annual blues festival in Dana Point that takes place in late May each year. This is one of the more popular blues festivals in California, so you can expect to hear some fantastic musicians, from Chris Isaak to Joe Walsh.

Ocean Activities & Sports

When living in Dana Point, it’s practically impossible to not engage in some of the many ocean activities and water sports available to you. One of the more unique water activities you can partake in is whale watching, which is available all year round. From the months of November through April, you should be able to spot large numbers of migrating gray whales. From May through October, blue whales are prominent in the teeming blue waters of the Pacific.

There are also plenty of stores in the vicinity that will rent you kayaks and jet skis if you’re looking for a more exhilarating adventure out on the waters. If you’re interested in catching a glimpse of some of the local marine life, try your hand at scuba diving. For a more relaxing time on the water, consider stand-up paddleboarding. Fishing and deep sea fishing are also extremely common in Dana Point, the latter of which gives you a chance to reel in some marlin, swordfish, yellowtail or bluefin tuna.

Dana Point Festivals

Dana Point plays host to many eventful festivals throughout the year for all to enjoy. Two of the most popular of these festivals include the Tall Ships Festival and the Festival of Whales. These festivals are held annually, the former in September of each year and the latter in March.

The Tall Ships Festival celebrates the rich maritime history of California. Hosted by the Ocean Institute, a large number of historic tall ships sail directly into the Dana Point Harbor all throughout the three day festival. Everything is made to appear historically accurate on the ships, from the crews of each ship to the many weapons used during naval battles. The activities throughout this festival are plentiful, from ship tours and encounters with mermaids to pirate adventures and beer tastings.

As for the Festival of Whales, this exciting festival is aimed at celebrating the annual migration of the California Gray Whale throughout the Pacific waters. With events held over two straight weekends, you’ll be able to take part in many fun and adventurous activities, from the Whale of a Sand sculpting competition to the Diamond Dig.

Subdivisions of Dana Point

The Lantern District

When searching for an eclectic place to live in Dana Point, you should certainly consider The Lantern District. It sits very close to the Dana Point Harbor and is located within the Town Center of Dana Point, which is in close proximity to many of the local shops and restaurants. The homes within The Lantern District typically consists of larger estates and spacious single-family homes. Some of these homes were crafted in a Mediterranean architectural style, while others were made with a more modern style.

Monarch Beach

Monarch Beach is an upscale waterfront community in Dana Point with homes built in a resort style. Most of these homes have spacious yards and great views of the Pacific Ocean and are located within gated communities, providing residents with privacy and safety. Aside from the resort homes within Monarch Beach, you’ll also find a large selection of upscale cottages. One of the highlights of this residential area is the Monarch Beach Golf Links. This beautiful public golf course sits just beside the water. The Salt Creek Beach is also minutes away.

Capistrano Beach

If you’re looking to live in close proximity to the beach, the Capistrano Beach subdivision is a popular destination. Nearly every home within this community is situated on or right near the beach. As such, the vast majority of properties offer spectacular views. Just to the north of this community is Doheny State Beach, a great destination for swimming, fishing, or surfing. There are also some smaller single-family residences just behind some of the beachfront properties. If you wish to be close to the beach, and enjoy spectacular Southern California coastal views, Capistrano Beach is a fantastic place to call home.

Dana Hills

Located on the east side of Dana Point, you’ll find a great family friendly community known as Dana Hills. One of the oldest high schools in South Orange County, Dana Hills High School, if found here and has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 with students coming from Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Capistrano Beach, and San Juan Capistrano. Throughout the 30+ neighborhoods in Dana Hills, one can mostly find affordable single-family homes as well as some duplexes, townhomes, and condos.

Del Obispo

Beautiful Ocean Views can be found at many of the single-family homes and condos found in the Del Obispo community. Enjoy the great outdoors by biking, running, or horseback riding along the 29-mile-long San Juan Creek which flows into the Pacific at Doheny State Beach. Covering 62 acres, Doheny State Beach offers a hot surfing spot and a campground that attracts over 850,000 people per year. Numerous parks are also found in Del Obispo including the Del Obispo Community Park, Creekside Park, Sea View Park and more. Nearby find the marina and Dana Point Harbor.

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