With nearly seven miles of sun-kissed Southern California beaches – it’s the birthplace of the Surf Culture – and a 2,500-boat/yacht marina, Dana Point is your go-to for big splashy fun in the sun. So dive right in! Enjoy your favorite water sport. Or learn a new one. From kayaks to paddle and boogie boards, serene sails to wave runners, whale watching, fishing – and of course the best surfing in California –whatever floats your boat, you’ll love it in Dana Point.
No gear? No worries. Dana Point rental companies have it all, and many hotels offer rental and free water toys to guests.
Watching the Big Ones — It’s a fact. Dana Point is “The Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World,” with the best year-round whale watching, and the largest concentration of blue whales and dolphin in California. Join one of the three primary whale watching tour operators: Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari, Dana Wharf Whale Watching, and the Ocean Institute. You’ll likely see gray whales just seconds after leaving Dana Point Harbor. Seasonal oohs and aahs include Orcas and Fin, Minke and Humpback whales. Sea lions, harbor seals and dolphin are a given.
Surf’s Up – Always — Grab your surfboard or boogie board and ride the waves that started the Surf Culture back in the 1950s. The perfect waves at mile-long Doheny State Beach are ideal for seasoned dudes and newbies. Girl in the Curl offers surf lessons right on the beach. You’ll find rad breaks at Stand Beach. And test your skills at Salt Creek, where the experts go to get barreled. Body surfing is also great at these beaches.
Angling in Paradise — Deep sea or from a kayak, fishing off Dana Point is a dream come true. For fun or competition, throw out your line and reel in yellowtail, yellowfin, Bluefin tuna, Dorado, halibut, bonito, sand bass, calico bass and more. Dana Point Harbor has plentiful sport fishing boat rentals and charters. Tournaments such as the Annual Halibut Derby and the Fishing with Friends Kayak Tournament add to the thrill.
Smooth Sailing — Life doesn’t get any better than gliding across the water with the sea breeze in your face and the beautiful Dana Point coastline in your sights. For romance at sea, Dana Wharf Whale Watching & Sportfishing offers the only sunset wine and cheese cruise in Orange County. Argh, maties – treat your family to a fun, and informative, pirate-themed sail with the Ocean Institute. Set sail yourself, with family and friends, in two-person skiffs rented from Westwind Sailing. If you don’t know the ropes, Westwind has lessons for adults and kids.
Watercraft Wonders — Get up close and personal with the water, the harbor, the wildlife and the awesome coastline outside the jetty with a variety of personal watercraft. You’ll feel as cool as you look, paddleboarding across the sunny scene. For an added workout, take a paddleboard yoga class with I Heart Yoga. Jump in a single or double kayak and explore with family and friends, or take a guided kayak tour. The calm water of Baby Beach makes an excellent launch spot for paddleboarders and kayakers to get your sea legs before heading out to sea. Satisfy your need for speed on single or double jet skis at up to 60 mph! Capo Beach Watercraft rentals and Dana Point Jet Ski & Kayak Center/Pure Watersports have them all.
Sensational Swimming — It’s the classic beach pastime, splashing and swimming with your family and friends in the glistening Pacific Ocean. Bring the toddlers to Baby Beach, its mellow waters are ideal for family fun. Soak up the surf vibe at Doheny State Beach, Salt Creek Beach and Strands Beach. While famous for surfing, there’s plenty of room for swimming and sunning on these legendary sands.