Dana Point Outdoors Scene: 5 Ways to Explore This Coastal Town

Dana Point, California, offers visitors abundant outdoor activities, and sits less than 10 miles from Laguna Beach. The small beach city features its own harbor and hosts an annual whale festival. In addition, visitors can relax, play on its beaches or admire natural attractions. If looking for outdoorsy things to do, check out these five ways to explore the Dana Point outdoors scene.

Top 5 Ways to Experience the Dana Point Outdoors Scene

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Photo: iTrip Vacations® Laguna Beach

See Dana Point Harbor

Dana Point Harbor is the city’s crown jewel for things to do. Find opportunities for year-round whale-watching, boating, sailing, kayaking, skiing and more. Boat lovers should visit individual marinas and yacht clubs. Couples can take a romantic cruise of the Dana Point coast, which provides some of the best sunsets in the area.

Also located in the harbor is Ocean Institute, which provides hands-on educational activities and camps. Ocean Institute welcomes guests to see the Dana Point outdoors scene via boat tours, pirate-themed excursions and wildlife cruises.

One of the most popular events at Dana Point Harbor is Festival of Whales. Held annually in March, the event draws nearly 100,000 people to the area. While attending, see a street parade and fair, whale-watching hot spots, live entertainment, crafts and try delicious food.

Visit Dana Point Parks

The city is home to 28 public parks that offer their own amenities and things to do. One of Dana Point’s most popular parks is Lantern Bay Park, which features an ocean view, path lighting, and a basketball court and playground.

Those looking for a peaceful walk should visit Heritage Park. This park welcomes dogs to their dog fun zone. Nature lovers also find a rose garden in Lantern Village Community Park, and kids have a blast at Del Obispo Park. This park has baseball fields, tennis courts, a basketball court and playground. Learn more about parks in Dana Point.

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Photo: bfick

Spend the Day on the Beach

Dana Point outdoor activities include access to three beaches: Capistrano, Doheny State and Salt Creek.

Capistrano Beach is located in south Dana Point and welcomes families to play volleyball, take a bicycle ride, or simply relax. Doheny State Beach offers a low tide, making it a popular spot for swimming and surfing. The beach has more than 120 developed family campsites and a large picnic area. Water lovers should head to Salt Creek Beach. This beach is a top spot for surfing, swimming and body boarding due to its left swells. Hikers will love exploring sheer cliffs and original ravine canyon.

Ride Funicular at Strands Beach

Small groups can step inside the Funicular and ride the rails through Dana Point. The funicular, an inclined elevator, is similar to an elevator with windows and travels 2 to 3 miles per hour. Guests can access the Funicular at Strands Beach, and ride for free.

Learn About Dana Point’s History

While enjoying the Dana Point outdoors scene, stop by Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center. The center showcases rotating exhibits that focus on the city’s history and culture. Open to the public every day except Monday, guests learn about geological formations, see historic artifacts and view local art. Hikers can also get insider tips on the best places and things to see.

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