Dana Point is a city located in southern Orange County with a population of about 33,000 as of the 2010 census. Besides being one of few harbors along the Orange County coast, it is also a popular surfing destination with Doheny State Park at the south side of the harbor jetties.
Now a thriving harbor with a vast array of boats, it also contains a replica of the tall ship the Pilgrim.
The Pilgrim is used as a classroom by the Ocean Institute which is located at the north end of the harbor.
Also at the north end of the harbor is a great area with lots of benches to view the sunsets.
Near the pilgrim you can find a little beach area which is perfect for family outings. There is also a small beach landing at low tide for boaters who want to take a break or swim in the harbor.
On the south side of the harbor you can find shops, restaurants, a boat launch and the point of departure for the Catalina Express which takes you to and from Catalina.
Half and full day fishing excursions are also available or you can sit and watch the fishing boats come in at the entrance to the harbor. You can also walk along one of the main channels to get a different view-point of all of the boats.
With a long jetty protecting the harbor you can find calm waters perfect for kayaking and Stand Up Paddle.
If you are adventuresome you can walk on the breakwater and fish.
Looking east you get the feel of an old Maine Harbor or someplace in the Pacific Northwest. There is always plenty of parking on the ocean side and a great place to walk your dogs.
Almost every Staycation trip I have taken, it has rewarded me with a great sunset. Dana Point January 2014 was no exception.