Dana Point is a picturesque community overlooking the Pacific in southern Orange County. The coastline features seven miles of rolling bluffs and hills, with world-class resorts on Emerald Bay and Monarch Bay. Dana Point’s most famous landmark is the Headlands, a promontory that sits atop Dana Point Harbor. The Catalina Express transports visitors to Catalina Island, while other cruises depart on whale and dolphin watching expeditions. Dana Point is home to some of the area’s most iconic annual events, including the Concours d’Elegance and the Festival of Whales. This is a family-friendly city with a deeply rooted community feel. With tree-lined neighborhoods and plenty of seaside recreation, the city combines coastal luxury and laid-back surfer charm.
Dana Point includes the exclusive Strands neighborhood. This gated community at the Headlands features stunning homes with spectacular ocean views. Other housing options are an eclectic mix of historic 1920s properties and attractive contemporary homes.
Dana Point offers a close-knit sense of community in a stunning coastal destination. The city offers a wide variety of shopping and dining, beautiful beaches, scenic golf courses, and some of the most popular events in Orange County.
Dana Point features diverse shopping and dining options with inland retail centers and waterfront restaurants. Monarch Beach Promenade has a curated selection of boutiques, markets, and eateries. Project Social is a standout at Monarch Beach Promenade for tasty burgers, breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, and weekend brunch specials. Project Social also offers 28 mostly Californian craft beers on draft. Other Monarch Beach Promenade tenants include Brio Tuscany Grille for Italian wining and dining, Dana Kai for sushi and other Japanese cuisine, Monarch Beach Market for gourmet deli items and fine beers and wines, and South Coast Farms for locally grown strawberries and other farm-fresh produce.
A few blocks from the oceanfront on California Highway 1, Coastal Kitchen serves delicious steaks, seafood, sandwiches, and salads alongside beer, wine, and cocktails. Coastal Kitchen occupies an airy renovated building, a fixture of the local dining scene since the 1920s. Chart House is an upscale dining destination located atop the bluffs overlooking Dana Point Harbor. The views from Chart House’s romantic outdoor patio extend for 50 miles over majestic coastal scenery stretching as far as La Jolla. Chart House’s refined land and sea menu includes daily fresh fish specials, slow-roasted prime rib, signature cocktails, and premium wines. Other dining highlights around Dana Point Harbor include mesquite-grilled seafood at Harbor Grill, ocean-fresh eats and live weekend entertainment at Harpoon Henry’s Seafood Restaurant, and steak and seafood dining with a Hawaiian twist at Wind & Sea.
Dana Point’s spectacular coastline features numerous awesome beaches. Dana Strand Beach is a beautiful public beach with tide pools at the foot of the luxurious gated development of The Strand. Doheny State Beach is one of the largest and most popular beaches. Doheny Beach spans 65 acres at the mouth of San Juan Creek. The beach offers excellent surfing, a five-acre lawn with volleyball courts, large campgrounds, and a visitors center with aquariums.
The mile-long Salt Creek Beach is a great destination for surfing, swimming, fishing, and beach volleyball. Salt Creek Beach is located beside the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel resort and Monarch Beach Golf Links. Designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., the gorgeous championship public golf course at Monarch Beach Golf Links is framed by dramatic bluffs and mesmerizing ocean views. Each year in June, Monarch Beach Golf Links hosts the three-day Concours d’Elegance automobile extravaganza. Three miles of trails run through the striking protected natural landmark of the Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area.
Heritage Park offers great views of the Dana Point Headlands and the harbor. The park features sloping grass hills, soaring pine trees, and a dog run. Close to Dana Hills High School, Sea Canyon Park is another attractive greenspace with a playground and dog run. Dana Point is known as the whale watching capital of the world. In March, the Festival of Whales offers lots of opportunities to see these majestic migrating marine mammals. Other events during the Festival of Whales include educational lectures, an art show and sale, a classic and specialty car show, and live entertainment on the harbor.
Dana Point is served by the Capistrano Unified School District.
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