Dana Point is a picturesque coastal city located in southern Orange County, California. With a population of just over 34,000, it is a small but vibrant community that is known for its beautiful beaches, recreational opportunities, and charming downtown area.
The city’s diverse population brings a wide variety of cultural influences, which can be seen in its cuisine. Restaurants in Dana Point offer a mix of traditional American fare and international cuisine, including Mexican, Italian, and seafood.
- Dana Point is named after Richard Henry Dana Jr., a sailor and author who wrote the memoir “Two Years Before the Mast.” It describes his experiences on a trading ship that sailed along the California coast in the 1830s.
- Dana Point is known as the “Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World” because of the large number of dolphins and whales that can be seen off the coast.
- The city has a rich history of surfing, and it is home to one of the most famous surf spots in Southern California, “Salt Creek Beach,” which has been a popular spot for surfers since the 1950s.
- Dana Point is home to the Festival of Whales, an annual event that celebrates the migration of gray whales along the California coast. The festival includes a parade, live music, and a variety of other activities.
- Dana Point Harbor is the largest man-made small craft harbor on the West Coast, and it offers boat rentals and sailing lessons, whale watching and dolphin cruises, fishing trips and more.
- The town is home to the Ocean Institute, a marine education center that offers hands-on marine science programs for students of all ages. Visitors can tour the research vessels, touch tanks, and marine life exhibits.
- The Richard Henry Dana Jr. House: One of the most well-known buildings in Dana Point is the town’s namesake, the Richard Henry Dana Jr. House. Built in 1848, the house was the residence of the famous author and sailor Richard Henry Dana Jr., who wrote the memoir “Two Years Before the Mast.” The house is now a museum that offers tours and exhibits on the life and work of Dana.
- St. Edward’s Catholic Church: Another historic building in Dana Point is the St. Edward’s Catholic Church. Built in 1933, the church is an architectural masterpiece featuring a mix of Spanish Colonial and Gothic Revival styles. The church is open to visitors and offers mass and other religious services.
- The Ocean Institute: One of the most iconic buildings in Dana Point is the Ocean Institute, which is located on a bluff overlooking the ocean. The institute is an educational facility that offers hands-on marine science programs for students of all ages. Visitors can take a tour of the institute’s research vessels, touch tanks, and marine life exhibits.
- The Marbella Country Club: For those interested in architecture, the Marbella Country Club is a good example of Mediterranean Revival style, the Rancho Capistrano Playhouse is a good example of the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, and the Lantern Bay Villa provides an example of the Mission Revival style.
Dana Point also has several notable modern buildings, including the Strands at Headlands, which is a luxury residential development that offers panoramic views of the ocean. The development features several high-end amenities, including a fitness center and a pool.