About Dana Point

Dana Point is situated on the beautiful Southern California coast, halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles.

It prides itself with nearly seven miles of coastal bluffs and rolling hills along the Pacific Ocean with its charming beaches and wild surfs. Most noteworthy of these bluffs is a unique promontory known as the “Headlands,” which overlooks Dana Point Harbor, one of the most significant manmade alterations of the Orange County coastline.

Dana Point encompasses 6.5 square miles and is home to 36,765 people and numerous businesses, all working together as one community. You can see this collaboration in action during some of the City’s annual festivals and events such as the Turkey Trot in November, Festival of Whales in March, the Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling in April and the 4th of July fireworks show.

The City is home to the Dana Point Harbor, the Ocean Institute, with its wide array of marine life and several beautiful lodging facilities and restaurants to accommodate your special needs.

Dana Point is named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., a Harvard-trained lawyer, seaman, and author of the classic sea journal, Two Years Before the Mast. His writings document the voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California on the merchant ship, Pilgrim, and describe the area once known as Capistrano Bay, as “the most romantic spot on the California Coast.” Today, Capistrano Bay is known as Dana Point.

Another fascinating area commonly known to many as Monarch Bay, is also known as Dana Point. For more historical information about Capistrano Bay and Monarch Bay, please visit the Dana Point Historical Society at www.danapointhistorical.org.

The City incorporated in January 1989 as a general law City with a Council-Manager form of government with five Council members elected citywide. The City’s leadership and development is guided by its Mission, and Strategic and General Plans.

The City provides a myriad of services such as Police and Fire (through the County of Orange and the Fire District Authority), code enforcement, zoning and building permitting, public works, recreation, parks and senior services. It also provides other services and programs such as animal control, street sweeping, annual tree maintenance, community gardens, vacation checks, and others. The Council and staff are committed to producing results and providing our residents, businesses and visitors with excellent service.

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 at Doheny Beach, Dana Strands and Salt Creek.

The Dana Point Harbor provides slips and moorings for more than 2,500 boats. Doheny State Park, one of California’s most popular beach facilities boasts 62 acres of open space, offering camping, picnicking, swimming, surfing, bicycling, and tide pool exploration, with over 2 million visitors annually.

Dana Point beaches are among the finest in the world. Our City is rich in history and is popular for surfing, tide pool exploration, walking, and ocean enjoyment.

Capistrano Beach, along the scenic stretch of coast in south Dana Point, offers volleyball, basketball, cycling and other beach activities. During the summer months, a concession stand offers fishing gear, food and beverages, and beach supplies.

Doheny State Beach features over one mile of sandy coast and some of the best swimming and surfing in California. During low tide, tide pools are perfect for exploring. A campground features 121 developed family campsites and the picnic area has 170 picnic tables and 99 barbecue grills.

Salt Creek Beach is also a popular surfing location. A small, offshore reef creates some of the best left swells along the entire shoreline. Swimming, body surfing, sunbathing and tide pool exploration provide fun for everyone. The park consists of sandy beaches, rocky promontories, and sheer cliffs. The original ravine canyon locally known as Salt Creek, forms the northerly boundary of the beach. Grading and landscaping have been completed in such a manner as to blend with the natural features, leaving the beach and cliff area basically undisturbed.

Beach facilities can be reached from Ritz Carlton Dr. off Pacific Coast Highway. Other beaches in Dana Point include Monarch Beach, Dana Strand Beach, Baby Beach and Poche Beach. For more information on beach water quality, please visit Orange County’s Beach Information Web site at www.ocbeachinfo.com.