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Outdoor Recreation

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In Dana Point, you’ll discover the great outdoors are inspiringly beautiful. Dana Point surrounds visitors with a seven-mile playground of coastal bluffs, sparkling shorelines and the stunning blue Pacific. Famous for its stand-up paddling (SUP) and surfing, Dana Point’s seaside setting of nearly two dozen parks and miles of beach-side trails is a mix of land and sea unlike any Southern California destination. And one of the most memorable with visitors is The Headlands – a 50-acre beautifully protected site with spectacular views overlooking Dana Point Harbor and the Orange County coast. Enjoy a peek at the most popular recreation, and find Dana Point’s best outdoor activities.



The City of Dana Point has 23 beautiful parks available for use by the public. You are welcome to utilize the City’s parks without charge or reservation, on first-come, first-served basis. If you wish to use a City park for such events as a wedding, large group picnic or gathering, please call 949-248-3530.

(949) 248-3530
El Camino Real

Enjoy volleyball, basketball and other beach activities. During the summer months, a concession building offers fishing gear rental and sales, food and beverages, and beach supplies.

24440 Dana Point Harbor Drive

Experience the world’s only Eye to Eye Underwater Viewing Pods aboard Capt. Dave’s hi-tech Sailing Catamaran where you can see and hear whales and dolphins up close in their own underwater environment. Capt. Dave, an award winning filmmaker and author, has also outfitted his vessel with three Eye-Spy Dolphin Nets, research quality hydrophone, micro-museum, and production quality cameras for the world’s only live whale watching broadcast on the web at! Mrs. Captain Dave’s yummy Triple Fudge Brownies are served on every trip.
Experienced marine naturalists narrate your 2 1/2 hour ocean adventure. We leave from Dana Point Harbor daily. Photo courtesy Barry Curtis/Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari.

(949) 488-2828
Dana Strand Road

The City of Dana Point is characterized by its seven miles of prominent coastal bluffs and scenic rolling hills along the Pacific Ocean. County, State and private beaches adorn the coastline, including world-famous surfing spots such as Dana Strands.

34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point


Dana Wharf Whale Watching is simply the BEST! Naturalist Captains share their passion as whales frolic and dolphin surf the bow. The pioneers of whale watching in Orange County, Dana Wharf is committed to providing life-long memories to locals and visitors alike~offering a Marine Mammal Sightings Guarantee which means you’ll have a good showing or you ride again, anytime…FREE!

Within 5 minutes of leaving the dock, you’ll be in the Pacific Ocean, ready to be up close and personal with our beloved Whales as they spy hop and breach right in front of you ~ and the price is always right!

Friendly Dana Wharf Captains are expert navigators and are all Certified Naturalists by the American Cetacean Society. Our Naturalist Captains share their passion and knowledge as whales frolic about and dolphin surf our bow. Founder Don Hansen pioneered whale watching in Orange County back in 1964 and the family-owned and operated Dana Wharf is committed to providing these life-long memories to locals and visitors alike. The perfect adventure for all ages, Dana Wharf offers the only Marine Mammal Sightings Guarantee which means you’ll have a good showing or you ride again, anytime…FREE!

Exclusively endorsed by world-famous marine life artist Wyland, Dana Wharf adventures may take you up the Coast through the illusive Laguna Beach coastline, famous for its pristine beaches and Hollywood connection. Dana Wharf provides responsible whale watching adventures on immaculate vessels that feature comfortable seating and optimal viewing for everyone! Even the smallest ‘watcher’ will enjoy the beauty of the vast marine mammals who love to put on a show for our passengers.

Come aboard the luxuriously smooth 65 ft. Ocean Adventures Catamaran, our custom-built, state-of-the-art vessel features a raised viewing platform that ensures optimal viewing~without getting wet! You’ll be comfortable on the cushioned indoor or outdoor seating, enjoy a smooth, quiet ride, and with never more than 59 passengers, your adventure is never crowded.

Board the the ultra-fast 95 ft. Dana Pride for a smooth ride, even in rough waters! Featuring upper deck outdoor and inside galley seating, your adventure on the largest OC whale watching vessel will be an experience you won’t forget! Expertly navigated by our Naturist Captains, this flagship vessel gets to the marine mammal action quickly, so you don’t miss the show.

Looking for a more intimate adventure? Charter any one of our smaller vessels for your personalized trip. Our fleet of 14 vessels feature small 6-packs, mid-sized boats, and a Schooner sailboat, the Curlew.

Dana Wharf Whale Watching – a whale of a good time for all ages! Reservations suggested and there’s always FREE PARKING!

25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive

Monarch Beach is named after its most prominent geological feature “Monarch Bay” aptly named as its rolling hills of Sagebrush and Manzanita were once a breeding ground for the Monarch Butterfly.

50 Monarch Beach Resort Drive


Few golf experiences can match the blend of stunning natural beauty and variety of challenges presented at Monarch Beach Golf Links. Here, along the dramatic bluffs of Southern California, master architect, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., has fashioned an intriguing layout in the Scottish links tradition on one of the select few oceanfront golf courses in California. Commanding sweeping views to the sea, this par-70 championship course offers an unending variety of play. Guests at Monarch Beach Golf Links are members for a day. They are enchanted by the perfect golf experience provided by a Troon Golf Facility. The friendly, professional staff and impeccable grounds welcome guests and set the tone for the day. Each Troon Golf Staff member is attentive to the needs of members and guests as they find their way to the cart area and practice area. Guests are assured of a special day. All outside pressures and thoughts are pushed aside for the moment as the Troon Golf Experience takes over and puts them at ease.

(949) 240-8247
24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point

Journey to sea with Ocean Institute scientists as they introduce you to the local marine wildlife; including an astounding variety of fish, microscopic plankton, and the animals that live in sediment retrieved from the ocean floor. Encounter a pod of playful dolphin or witness the majesty of a traveling whale. Discover the amazing, and sometimes bizarre life that lives just beneath the waves! 

(949) 496-2274
28373 Alicia Parkway Laguna Niguel

Aliso & Wood Canyons Regional Park offers approximately 4,000 acres of wilderness and natural open space land with hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian use.  The Park is located at the south end of the Laguna Greenbelt. Its canyons harbor a pastoral feel unmatched in Orange County. Favored with petroglyphs etched by native people, Aliso & Wood Canyons are natural wonders.

(949) 923-2200
31131 S. Pacific Coast Highway

Aliso Beach offers an area for swimming, surfing and stand up paddle boarding. You can also enjoy fishing or exploring the tide pools. A concession stand offers rentals for fishing, food and beverages and other beach supplies. 31131 South Pacific Coast Highway.

(949) 492-4872
Dana Point, Southern California

Dana Point, Southern California