Ocean Institute

The Ocean Institute, founded in 1977 is a Hands-On Ocean Exploration that educates 350,000 visitors annually through over 60 marine science and maritime history programs. The Institute is located on 2.4 acres in the Dana Point Harbor; adjacent to a Marine Life Conservation Area. The facility is an ocean education center that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime History and Outdoor Education programs. Come explore the ocean’s underwater world and California’s fascinating maritime history through fun. There are interactive programs and family activities that will indulge your ocean curiosity! Learning is always fun for kids and adults, so bring your families and friends for an educational ocean experience!

The Ocean Institute is known for its immersion-based field trips that range from one-hour science labs to multi-day programs at sea. All programs are designed to maximize immersion, spark curiosity, and inspire a deep commitment to learning.

Ocean-based exhibits are open to the public seven days a week! The Ocean Institute also offers organized family programs, summer camps, cruises, tall-ship sails, and other unique events including our annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival and the Festival of Whales.

Our staff comes from all over the world, with earned degrees from prestigious universities and training programs. Each person represents the diversity of the programs we offer, encompassing all disciplines of modern science, technology, history, and sailing.

The Ocean Institute’s Mission Statement is: Using the ocean as our classroom, we inspire children to learn. So please come on down and learn about the amazing ocean as well as experience their amazing staff!

Contact Us

(949) 496-2274


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