Dana Point Harbor
“Harboring the Good Life”, the official city motto of Dana Point, is the perfect choice for describing this idyllic and peaceful coastal town. Characterized by nearly seven miles of Pacific Ocean, prominent coastal bluffs and rolling hills, Dana Point offers visitors plenty of beautiful views and endless outdoor activities.
The Harbor at Dana Point Harbor provides slips and mooring for over 2,500 boats, along with more than 50 specialty shops and restaurants. Thousands of visitors are attracted to the Harbor annually for shopping, sport fishing, walking, bicycling, picnicking and a host of recreational activities. Dana Point Harbor is also considered to be the gateway to Doheny State Park, one of California’s most popular beach facilities. In addition to Doheny State Park, Dana Point boasts several other world class beaches perfect for a day of surfing, swimming or building sandcastles. OCTA bus routes 1 & 89
One-of-a-kind boutiques offer beautiful, unexpected treasures. You won’t want to miss the sterling silver and gold jewelry handcrafted by artisans of the Navajo, Zuni, Hopi and Santo Domingo from The White Pelican, which is family owned and operated by the Paulos family. For those last minute boating purchases that you’ll need before you head out to the open sea, visit West Marine, which offers all boating supplies, and are known for their outstanding customer service. Other shopping delights include special cards, art collectibles, designer perfumes, clothing for men, women, and children, artisan chocolates, and specialty coffee and teas from around the world.
After all of that shopping, you’ll want to enjoy a fabulous meal at the one of restaurants that is located within Mariner’s Village and Dana Wharf. Try the fish and chips from Jon’s Fish Market, where you can enjoy the sounds of a saxophone player in the late afternoon, providing a beautiful backdrop to the great food, and panoramic harbor views. For dessert, don’t miss The Scoop Deck, located within Coffee Importers, which sells Dreyer’s Ice Cream and an array of mouthwatering desserts. Try the Mocha Shake- a longstanding favorite with chocolate and coffee ice cream, a shot of espresso, mocha beans, and a shot of homemade whipped cream to top it all off- delightful!
A large hotel in the marina, The Marina Inn, offers overnight lodging for people wishing to stay in the harbor. The Marina Inn will keep you close to the top-notch amenities that the Dana Point Harbor offers, as well supply you with comfortable accommodations, perfect for a weekend get-away, or a corporate meeting.
At the far west end of Dana Point Harbor, you’ll find the Ocean Institute, which is a unique educational experience for children and adults alike. The Ocean Institute also displays the brig “Pilgrim” which is a full-sized replica of the square-rigged vessel on which Richard Henry Dana sailed into this cove. The Pilgrim is docked adjacent to the fishing pier and offers school children the experience of life aboard a sailing ship in the 19th century.
In addition to the facilities that the Dana Point Harbor offers year-round, there are numerous events, which attract thousands of visitors and spectators every year. Kicking off in February is the Festival of Whales and it’s associated activities, which lasts for three weeks. Other events during the year include: the Classic Wooden Boat Festival, offshore powerboat races in June, spectacular July 4th fireworks show, Tallship Festival in September, and the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot Race. The annual Christmas Boat Parade concludes the year’s events.