We called about a week before we wanted to take our whale watching excursion. We did not go during the festival time so we were able to get the day and time we wanted.
The rates are:
$20 adults, $10 children, $17 Seniors & Military
Dana Point has a charming harbor area, featuring two marinas and a wharf. It's perfect to explore with a nice stroll during the day or evening. The harbor is the water adventure spot where visitors can embark on a sail, ferry to Catalina or sportfish. On land, try one of a dozen or so choices for dining or have a snack.
The most breathtaking aspect of Dana harbor may not be the water but the magnificent botanical landscaping, perhaps the most exquisite of the entire southern California harbors.
Here is where cruises from South Orange county beaches take off. Throughout the year, the Ocean Institute features different cruises for those seeking holiday-or anytime- R & R. A popular one is the Marine Wildlife cruise.
Surfing is Dana Point is a very popular activity here! There are beaches for the experienced and beaches for the beginers.If you come to visit here you must get a lesson in surfing or you haven't had the Dana Point experience!! You can get lessons from the local surf shops: for example: Killer Dana Surf shop (http://www.killerdana.com/killerdana/dept.asp?dept_id=500&/#lesson).
Take a scenic ride through beautiful Doheny State beach on one of the unique and fun cycles. They offer traditional beach cruiser and mountain bikes, as well as trikes and four wheelers. They even have surreys that can fit three to eight passengers- great for the whole family. These unique surreys have eco-tour information built in to make your experience fun and educational.
There are also bike tours around the Dana Point area, each comes with a comfortable, multispeed bike, a helmet, a lock, maps, and interesting sites to see along the way.
In late winter at the harbor, whales greet Dana in their annual migration, which originates in Alaska and ends in Mexico. Special whale watching excursions run during the 2 weekend event, ranging from about $30-$250 (general and private boats). pre-booked reservations are recommended.
See website for calendar of events and whale pics!
Well, I don't think i will be able to write a review on personal accomodation experience at the Ritz Carlton in Dana but can mention the lovely walking experience that can be had right off the property. Caution: there is a seriously steep road leading from the hotel to the beach (as first pictured)
Doheny State Beach is an beautiful and exciting beach especially for the active beach goers. The main Dana Pont beach is a beloved spot for campers and nature conservation lovers. Many pitch their tents during special park events like the Haunted Campground, just in time of Halloween but revellers can enjoy the area all-year round.
If nature is your thing, Doheny will entice with its own tidepool and 5 part aquarium with varying specimen- all located within the visitor center which is temporarily closed (as of 2011) but will have a grand reopening sometime in the next few years .
For camp reservations:
TEL: 1-800-444-PARK (7275)
International Callers: TEL: 916-638-5883
Main park hours:
(Year round) 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
For the Orange county visitor seeking a more local, less congested perspective, low-wave Doheny is a great option to see. Doheny is mentioned in the popular Beach boys tunes, "Surfin' safari" and "Surfin' U.S.A.". On a bad note, this beach is one of the most polluted in the greater Los Angeles area. Never haveIi seen the water very blue, more murky browish-blue. So, swimming is not by any means ideal but people still brave it. Mostly, watersport enthusiasts like surfers, paddleboarders and kayakers enjoy Doheny. Though not the top surfing spot in O.C. (try Huntington Beach), one can view the wave hitters on the north end of the beach.
Doheny is by Del Obispo/Dana Harbor Drive, approx. a mile north of Interstate and about three miles from San Juan Capistrano Mission.
I just came back from Dana Point,Ca. and had an amazing time Stand up Paddleboarding in the harbor with SUP Fitness Laguna. Nancy, the owner, is fun, informative and we all learned how to paddleboard pretty fast.It's a great sport and I am looking into buying my own paddleboard now.I would definitely recommend SUP Fitness Laguna as your place for Paddleboard lessons or rentals.Their number is 949-342-6555.
This is the place that you can really relax, just listen to the wave and have cool breeze on your face. Although I dont have much time since I was here for a conference. But still I really enjoyed and relaxed, of course after the meeting. Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel hotel is located on a very magnificant landscape. In the afternoon, I saw dolphins swimming by very near the beach.
The Dana Point Festival of Whales happen during the first two weekends of March. You can do everything from going on a whale watching excursion to visiting the Ocean Institute.
The festival itself is free.
Whale watching ranges from $25 to $45. For a list of cruises, click here: http://www.dpfestivalofwhales.com/whalewatch.html
The Ocean Institute is located at:
24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr.
Dana Point, CA 2629
My rating: 4 stars out of 5.
While we were going to San Diego from Los Angeles we stopped by Doheny state beach for a break. It was a nice spot for kids to get out of the car to burn some calories and for all of us to watch sunset.
Go to the beach!! Salt Creek Beach Park is a lovely spot- just below the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. It's a perfect spot to picnic & watch the sunset.
SUP Fitness is simple because of the nature of the sport - balancing on a paddle board with basic paddling strokes. The combination provides an excellent and FUN core fitness and aerobic workout.