Join the Dana Point Family at Ohana Fest
Picture this. It’s late September, the sun is setting and you’re standing on one of Southern California’s most revered beaches. The waves swell, you close your eyes and breathe in the serenity of the moment. Then, in a flash, the lights go up, thousands of people scream in excitement and one of the top performers in the world appears before you. Maybe it’s Eddie Vedder covering an old Tom Petty tune. Or maybe it’s Beck freestyling to one of his ‘90s hits.
No, it’s not a dream. It’s the Ohana Festival, and it’s very, very real.
Held each fall at Doheny State Beach, the Ohana Fest is one of the top music festivals in the United States, drawing fans of rock, roots and storytelling from across the nation. Set in an almost too-good-to-be-true venue, the festival main stage faces directly toward the Pacific Ocean, providing unforgettable views. Talk about Instagram-worthy.
Featuring two stages – one main and another for storytellers and smaller acts – the three-day Ohana Fest is held at the start of fall. Tickets generally run between $100 and $275, depending on how many days you want to attend.
Previous headliners have included Eric Church, Norah Jones, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Eddie Vedder and Mumford & Sons. Not too shabby for a totally chill and intimate beach fest.
Aside from the headline-caliber performers, there’s plenty of non-musical fun to be had at Ohana Fest. From painting and crafts for kids of all ages to giant Jenga games, food trucks (mmm, nachos), merch stands and VIP access, you can easily spend all three days in the confines of Doheny State Beach without a moment of boredom.
Another unique aspect to Ohana Fest is the addition of a storytellers series. Hear from surf legends, conservationists and artists, watch movies or take in photography exhibits at these daytime happenings throughout the festival.
Learn more at the Ohana Fest’s official site.
Drawing more than a million visitors each year, Doheny State Beach is a truly magical place for a music festival. With camping, RV access, biking and hiking trails, this park is set squarely on the Pacific Ocean near Dana Point Harbor with views that go on for days. Doheny’s musical roots run deep, too, with the Beach Boys having immortalized the area in their 1963 smash hit, “Surfin U.S.A.”
Speaking of surfers, don’t be surprised if you see a few catching some late afternoon waves as you enjoy the music and food at the fest. Visitors also love the park for its tide pools and other natural attractions. To help preserve the park, a portion of proceeds from the Ohana Festival go to the San Onofre Parks Foundation. This nonprofit helps maintain the integrity and beauty of California’s coastal parks.