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Ocean Institute

Ocean Institute
Category: Whale Watching Tours, Whale Watching Tours, Art & Culture, Things To Do, Things To Do
Neighborhood: Dana Point Harbor

Ocean Institute

Journey to the sea with the Ocean Institute. Experience marine wildlife, including a wide variety of fish and sea creatures that live in sediment retrieved from the ocean floor. Discover the amazing and sometimes bizarre life that lives just beneath the waves!

Make sure you check the Ocean Institute calendar before planning your trip because general admission days vary depending on the month, however on available days, they are open from 11am to 3pm.

Things to do at the Dana Point Ocean Institute

The Ocean Institute serves to inspire a deep commitment to learning by offering many education programs like field trips, virtual learning, whale and marine life tours and so much more. The award-winning Ocean Institute presents excellent hands-on marine science education for all ages to make your trip to Dana Point a fun and informative visit.

Whale and Marine Life Tours

With a program designed to maximize immersion, spark curiosity and inspire visitors, the Ocean Institute brings you whale and marine life tours. On the tour, you will be able to participate in a Dana Point favorite activity, whale watching! You’ll be experiencing marine life like never before as you are introduced to marine life, ocean science and maritime history along this two and a half hour tour. Tickets are $40 per person and are available to all ages over three years old.

Kayak Tours

Embark on an ocean education tour where you can learn about Dana Point’s marine life, history and ecosystem in a 2-hour kayak tour around Dana Point Harbor with one of the Ocean Institute’s expert Naturalists. Tickets are $40 per person and also include access to the Ocean Institute where you can explore the incredible science lab. All ages are welcome to participate in this one-of-a-kind adventure tour.

Tide Pool Hike

The tide pool hike is a unique hike that takes you to the Marine Conservation area to explore tide creatures like crabs, sea stars, and many other animals that live in the tidepools, located near the Ocean Institute. You might be surprised to learn that the best season to go on this adventure is winter! Tickets for this special experience are $15 per person and space is very limited.

Toshiba Tall Ships Festival

You’ll want to plan a visit in September so that you can experience the true wonder of the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival, where you will be in awe as authentic ships, like the Spirit of Dana Point, sail across the horizon. This annual Ocean Institute hosted festival has live music, food, art, and pirate reenactments.

  • Square Ft: 0 - 1,000
  • CDC Recommended Cleaning Procedures
  • Social Distance Markings/Signage
  • Social Distancing Guidelines Enforced
  • Virtual Events
  • Temporarily Closed
  • Hand Wash/Sanitizer Stations
  • Mobile Payments Accepted
  • Mobile Payments Required
  • Reduced Occupancy/Occupancy Limits
  • Health Related Staff Training
  • Health Screening Required-Guest
  • Masks Provided
  • Masks Required-Guest
  • Masks Required-Staff