For a California vacation straight out of a Beach Boys music video, visit Dana Point, a surf town in Orange County. With one of the only harbors along the Orange County Coast, Dana Point is a popular beach spot for those in the Los Angeles area and beyond seeking a quick vacation.
Dana Point was named for Richard Henry Dana, author of Two Years Before the Mast. Dana was said to have called Dana Point “the only romantic spot on the coast.” Now a historical landmark, this California town is alive with summer concert series, car shows, and surfing competitions.
A great first stop in Dana Point would be Doheny State Beach – a state park with swimming, surfing, camping, and an aquarium, along with annual events and festivals. Check out the visitors’ center for tide pools, ocean environment tanks and fun memorabilia.
The Ocean Institute in Dana Point is an ocean museum and learning institute for all ages, but it’s a particularly great activity for kids. Originally called the Marine Institute, the museum offers activities and learning programs for grade school kids – but not without plenty of fun for parents, too. After exploring the Ocean Institute’s programs, take a dolphin and whale watching cruise on the 65-foot boat Sea Explorer, or visit The Pilgrim, a replica of the sailing brig mentioned in Two Years Before the Mast.
There’s plenty of whale and dolphin spotting to do in Dana Point. Take a boat onto the harbor with Capt. Dave’s to see both above and below the water. Dana Wharf offers both whale watching and sport fishing on private charter boats.
Dana Point Harbor is a shopping and dining hub in Dana Point. It’s also a prime spot for the town’s big events, like the annual Festival of Whales and the Toshiba Tall Ships Parade. This summer, the city of Dana Point will open a time capsule that was buried 50 years ago; visit Dana Point Harbor to see what’s inside.
A quick 20-minute drive north of Dana Point, you’ll reach the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park – a gorgeous spot for hiking and sightseeing. The park features several of the last Southern California coastline canyons. You can take a guided tour or explore the lands on your own. Parking passes are available for purchase in the lot.
For more natural exploring, visit the Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, only a 20-minute drive from Dana Point. The 8,000-acre park offers trails, hiking and camping – so spend the night under the stars and don’t worry about making it back to the car before sunset.
Shopping is available throughout Orange County, but just over an hour away from Dana Point you can shop on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Though getting to the city might involve a mess of traffic, it’s worth the drive for a day trip. Walk around the city and see if you can spot one of Hollywood’s best-known actors.
Choose from nearly 1,600 rentals in Dana Point on Tripping.com to find the perfect place for an Orange Coast vacation. Many rentals feature gorgeous views of the water or the mountains, and the vast majority of all Tripping.com rentals in Dana Point feature wireless Internet. You can bring a pet along to over 300 pet-friendly rentals, and if the waves get too rough at the shore, hang out poolside at one of 340 rentals with a pool.
The historic core of Dana Point is called Lantern Village; grab a spot in the area and walk around for an idea of the old Dana Point. West of Route 1, you’ll find Tripping.com’s rentals closest to the ocean. Stay in one of these rentals for easy access to relaxation, surfing and swimming. And always be sure to check for the Instabook option on Tripping.com; these rentals are available to book immediately!
You can reach Dana Point by car on I-5, Route 1 or Route 74. Look out for traffic on I-5 as the highway approaches Los Angeles. The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train stops through Dana Point en route to Anaheim and San Diego.
Look for Orange County Transit Authority stops within the city. Otherwise, biking and driving will get you anywhere in town. The Catalina Express takes passengers from Dana Point to the island of Avalon and back, just an hour’s boat ride each way. Register online to get a free trip on your birthday!
Find the best Dana Point vacation rentals on Tripping.com. With over 353 home rentals, take your pick from a wide variety of choices including studio apartments, luxury condos, and cozy cabin rentals. Prices in Dana Point range from $50 a night. Many rentals can also be booked directly online.Vacation home rentals found on Tripping.com offer more amenities than the average hotel room along with many of the comforts of home. Going on a business trip or need to stay connected? 305 homes in Dana Point offer high-speed WiFi Internet so you won’t miss a beat. Travelling with kids? Let them splash around in any of the 155 rentals with pool or jacuzzi, or relax with the family in one of the 297 homes with cable TV.For all those pet owners with dogs or cats, Dana Point offers 91 pet-friendly vacation rentals for your extended family. Find the perfect vacation rental that matches your budget and style on Tripping.com.
Search properties from 9 vacation rental sites in Dana Point where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and Expedia. There are 252 HomeAway rentals, 33 TripAdvisor short term rentals and 23 Expedia vacation rentals.