Parks & Beaches
From beaches to bluffs to hills, Dana Point is dotted with recreational facilities that rank among the most scenic and well maintained in all of Southern California. The City of Dana Point manages 21 parks and recreation centers. Most parks offer picnic areas and playgrounds, some have barbecues, basketball and volleyball courts, tennis courts, and baseball/softball fields. Several have spectacular ocean views, so breathtaking that they’re a popular site for weddings. For residents, programs at the city’s parks range from senior services to organized programs for young children of all ages. Facility rentals, sports activities, special events and cultural art programs complete a year-round calendar of fun, entertainment, and information services to one and all.
Swimming, surfing, bicycling, picnic facilities, hiking, bird watching, tide pool exploration, diving, volleyball, kite flying, fishing, and more!
Pacific Coast Highway and Beach Road, 2 miles south of the harbor. Enjoy volleyball, basketball and other beach activities. Fishing gear rental and sales are always available during the summer.
Dana Point Marine Life Refuge
Contains some of the best rocky intertidal habitat in Southern California. At low tide, sea anemones, star fish, octopus as well as a variety of shell fish can be observed, dolphins often play just off shore. The refuge is at the far west side of the Harbor. Park at the Ocean Institute lot and follow the paved path to shore.
Salt Creek Beach & Park
The long, sandy beach is a popular surfing spot. Both upland and beach facilities can be reached from Ritz Carlton Drive off of Pacific Coast Highway.
Surfing at Salt Creek: A well-known surf break, Salt Creek focuses swells and often has bigger sized, heavy surf. This beach is suited for intermediate to advanced level surfers, comfortable on short boards. Even if you aren’t ready to be out in the lineup, professional-level surfers occasionally surf here and are very entertaining to watch. During the summertime, there is also a body boarding and swimming zone that is great for anyone who wants to get in the water.
The southern entrance to Salt Creek Beach Park (known to locals as Strands beach) is off Selva Road and features picnic tables, barbeque grills, a path and stairs to the beach.
Surfing at Strands: With steeper, quick-breaking waves, Strands is suited for people who have been on a surfboard more than a few times. This beach calls for short boards, good for turning and speeding down the line. Additionally, this beach has plenty of swimming areas marked off by lifeguards during the summer. These zones also offer areas for people to body board, body surf, and swim leisurely.
Doheny State Beach
25300 Dana Point Drive; (Intersection of Del Obispo and Dana Point Harbor Drive)
One of Orange County’s popular camping spots, Doheny State Beach, is administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The 62-acre site features over one mile of sandy beach and some of the best swimming and surfing in California. During low tide, the tide pools attract young and old for exploring. The campground features 120 tents and RV campsites, some only steps away from the beach. The picnic area has 170 picnic tables and 99 barbeque grills. Doheny State Beach is the readers’ choice as the County’s “Best Camping Site” in the Orange County Register’s Annual best of Orange County Survey. Doheny is the site of surf contests, volleyball tournaments, and many special events, such as the Doheny Blues Festival. Doheny also has a five-mile San Juan Creek Bike Trail and an equestrian trail that links with another trail that heads inland to San Juan Capistrano.
Surfing at Doheny: A perfect place to learn how to surf, Doheny is an ideal spot for beginners. Slow, rolling waves that are usually small make this break very friendly to all. A good board to ride at Doheny would be a few feet taller than someone and would have a soft top. Many local surf shops offer board rentals for visitors. This break is also a well-known longboarding spot, making it a great place to go for people who have surfed before and want to ride a glassed longboard. Overall, Doheny is the perfect beach in Dana Point for people who want to learn to surf or build upon their skills.
City of Dana Point Parks & Facilities
City of Dana Point Park Information
Chloe Luke Overlook – Camino Capistrano at Camino de Estrella
Creekside Park – 25743 Stonehill Dr
Crystal Cove Park – 25044 Via Elevado
Dana Crest Park – 24461 Josiah Dr
Dana Hills HS Sports Park – 33333 Golden Lantern
Dana Point Community Center – 34052 Del Obispo St
Dana Woods Park – 24900 Dana Woods
Del Obispo Park – 34052 Del Obispo St
Harry Otsubo Community Garden – SE corner of Stonehill at Golden Lantern
Heritage Park – 34400 Old Golden Lantern
La Plaza Park – PCH at La Plaza
Lantern Bay Park – 25111 Park Lantern Rd
Samson Overview Gazebo – End of Blue Lantern
Dana Point Harbor
The Harbor houses 2,500 yachts within its two marinas, inside a one-and-a-half mile jetty. Complete harbor facilities include guest slips, a fuel dock, shipyard, launch ramp, boat rentals, yacht sales, community class instruction for all ages, fishing, windsurfing, jet skiing, kayaking, boat charters, two yacht clubs, sailing association, ocean classroom labs, shops, restaurants, picnicking and a baby beach for young swimmers.
Thirty (30) intriguing shops are loaded with unexpected treasures. Visitors discover custom-designed jewelry and Indian artifacts, art collectibles, hand-formed chocolates, unique gifts, toiletries, fragrant oils, designer perfumes and sunglasses, ecologically “sound” gifts, leisure clothing for men and women, full service hair salon & art gallery, unique cards & tee shirts, international coffees and teas and quality ice cream. Seventeen different restaurants are at the Harbor to please every palate.
Dana Point is the home of the popular sport fishing vessels owned and operated by Dana Wharf Sportfishing. They are available for charter and/or a day of fishing. The Ocean Institute offers a variety of programs for the whole family as well. Enjoy sea adventure cruises day and evening and summer programs on the Brig “Pilgrim”. The OC Sailing and Events Center facility attracts hundreds each week for its wide variety of programs for all ages. Their Summer Beach Camp is very popular for kids who want to spend supervised time at the beach. Catalina Island is just a boat ride away. Catalina Express offers many departures / arrivals times.
Shop, dine and play at Dana Point Harbor! Easy access midway between Los Angeles and San Diego: Take Beach cities turnoff of the I-5 Freeway and turn left on Dana Point Harbor Drive. Follow Dana Point Harbor drive down into the Harbor.
For Harbor Information: