Dana Point

Dana Point is one of our favorite places to go with kids on the California south coast. The flat sand beach is a mile long, and you can camp right next to the waves.

Dana Point Harbor -
Baby Beach (Dana Cove Beach) - Next to the Ocean Institute is a sandy beach and floats where little kids can play in the water without worrying about boats going by. Grass, shaded picnic areas, and barbeques are next to the beach.
Whale watching cruises - Go whale watching year round to look for blue whales and gray whales, along with dolphins, sea lions and pelicans.
Explore the tide pools - On the rocky beach west of the Ocean Institute, at low tide look for sea anemones, barnacles, hermit crabs, shore crabs, and sea stars.
Go kayaking or paddleboarding - Rent kayaks or paddleboards and go out in the calm waters of the harbor.
Dana Point Headlands Conservation Area - Take the trail around the headlands for panoramic ovean overlook. This is the perfect spot for onshore whale watching, gray whales migrate January - March, bring binoculars. Stop into the Nature Interpretive Center to for nature and whale tours on weekends.
Lantern Bay Park - On Fridays in June, there are free family-friendly movies in the park. Bring your beach chairs.
Doheny State Beach - This state beach is large, over 60 acres, and is pleasant to visit year round. Come to the beach for the day, and or camp.
At the north day use area, rent boogie boards, surf boards, beach chairs, umbrellas, and sand toys. Cruiser bikes, kids bikes and surreys are also available for rent. There are volleyball nets (and volleyballs for rent if you didn't bring your own).
Also in the north day use area is a snack bar, grassy areas, barbeques and shaded picnic tables.
Tidepools - Just north of San Juan Creek are tidepools at low tide.
In the the south area, right at the beach, is the campground, with hot showers and fire rings. In summer at the Campfire Center are natural history programs, and check out the Junior Ranger programs during the week. Tip: This is the most popular campground in California, so reservations are a must.
Fun food
Farmers market - Saturday, 9am - 1pm, stop into the farmers market at La Plaza St. and the Coast Highway to pick up picnic supplies.
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