Beaches and Parks in Dana Point
The perfect little beach for you and your littles ones. No big waves, the marina is completely closed off to boats in this area. There is sand to play in, water to enjoy and public bathrooms near by. Perfect for a picnic or a family BBQ. You can also rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards right next to the beach. Address: 34451 Ensenada Pl, Dana Point, CA 92629
Harbor Point Park & Dana Cove Park
Harbor Point offers trails up the cliff as well as access to the Conservation Area. The Dana Cove is a very small sliver of a park.
Lantern Bay Park is a large, relatively flat grassy park with beautiful views of Dana Point and the Harbor. There are plenty of pine trees for shade as well as public restrooms, a playground, and a bocce ball court. Address: 25111 Park Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629
This park sits in the middle of the marina stretch. It’s similar to Lantern Bay, but with less amenities. Address: 34400 Old Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629
A lovely South Orange County Beach. Plenty of parking, although you do have to pay for it. Clean public restrooms, BBQs, grass area, perfect spot to learn to surf, bike rentals and a walk up café during the summer. Address: 25300 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629
Further up the coast you’ll find another beach and huge picnic option. There is plenty of grass for picnics, kite flying and sunset watching. It’s also a popular surfing spot. There is a nominal parking fee to access this beach/grass area. Address: 33333 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629
Strand Vista Park & Beach
Here, you’ll find a long stretch of beach, a park, a conservation area with trails, parking, and the Strand Beach Funicular. Address: 34116 Selva Rd, Dana Point, CA 92629
If the forecast calls for rain, I highly suggest you bundle up the kids and take them down to the Dana Point Harbor to check out the Dana Point Waterfall. The waterfall is only visible after a big rain storm or while it is currently raining. For exact directions on how to get there, click here.
Places to Eat
Stack’s Pancake House: 34255 Pacific Coast Hwy Ste 110, Dana Point, CA 92629
Coffee Importers: 34531 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629
Harbor House Cafe: 34157 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629
Craft House: 34094 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point ca 92629, Dana Point, CA 92629
Carmelita’s Taqueria: 34255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern: 25001 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629
Station Craft: 34150 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629
Glasspar: 24961 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point
Coastal Kitchen: 34091 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629
Luciana’s: 24312 Del Prado, Dana Point, CA 92629
Harbor Grill Restaurant: 34499 Golden Lantern Street, Dana Point, CA 92629
Hikes to Enjoy
Dana Point Arches – Ready for a local walk that is easy for kids of all ages and your fury family members? A quick walk with gorgeous views and some architectural history thrown in? Well I have the outing for you then! Click here for all the details on this easy, historical, picture worthy spot.
Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area – Their are lots of beautiful places to stop and take pictures, you can even hear the seals down below in the ocean. There are a few benches along the trail as well, if you want to stop and enjoy a snack or two. Just be sure to keep all trash and leave the trail the same way you found it. Currently the trail is only open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8am to 3pm, so be sure to plan accordingly. For more details on this hike click here.
Things to do in the Harbor
Sunset Wine Tasting Cruise: a 90-minute evening cruise aboard our luxury catamaran. Your special cruise is limited to a select amount of passengers to optimize your wine experience. In the spring and summer, enjoy an evening of sunshine, cool ocean breezes, and romantic sunset views. In the winter, take in the romantic atmosphere of the beautifully lit Dana Point Harbor.
Visit the Ocean Institute: The Institute includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, the spectacular Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, a historic tall ship, and an oceanographic research vessel. Immersion-based field trips 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. Address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629
Wine Tastings at Frisby’s Wine Cellar: Frisby Cellars is an award winning craft winery producing wines from Paso Robles since 2008.
Visit the Tide Pools: Park at the Ocean Institute and walk past the OI towards the beach signs. Be sure to check the tide levels and try to go at low tide or no tide to see more sea critters. On the weekends there are docents at low tide and the Ocean Institute offers some guided tours.
Rent Kayaks and Standup Paddleboards at Baby Beach
Walk throughout the Dana Point Harbor – The best part is that it is free and can be done at anytime of day or night and your can bring your furry friends along.
Take a Picture in front of the Harbor Love Sign