Dana Point Harbor Overview
Dana Point Harbor is not only a beautiful harbor in one of the most romantic areas of California, it is also a bustling portside community, offering many amenities to both residents and guests. Dana Point Harbor is divided into the East and West Basin, both of which operate as a separate marina. Combined, they have a total of 2,500 slips for vessels of various sizes. Included in the harbor are 50 guest slips for boats transiting the coastline and yacht clubs, which makes weekend cruises from the harbor ever more popular and exciting! Additional harbor facilities are a ten lane launch ramp, dry boat storage hoist, fishing pier, shipyard, marine fuel dock, three yacht clubs, and a commercial sports fishing operation, which offers whale watching trips through out the year.
One-of-a-kind boutiques offer beautiful, unexpected treasures. You won’t want to miss the sterling silver and gold jewelry handcrafted by artisans of the Navajo, Zuni, Hopi and Santo Domingo from The White Pelican. Other shopping delights include special cards, art collectibles, designer perfumes, clothing for men, women, and children, artisan chocolates, and specialty coffee and teas from around the world.
After all of that shopping, you’ll want to enjoy a fabulous meal at the one of restaurants that is located within Mariner’s Village and Dana Wharf. Try the fish and chips from Jon’s Fish Market, where you can enjoy the sounds of a saxophone player in the late afternoon, providing a beautiful backdrop to the great food, and panoramic harbor views. For dessert, don’t miss The Scoop Deck, located within Coffee Importers, which sells Dreyer’s Ice Cream and an array of mouthwatering desserts. Try the Mocha Shake- a longstanding favorite with chocolate and coffee ice cream, a shot of espresso, mocha beans, and a shot of homemade whipped cream to top it all off- delightful!
A large hotel in the marina, The Marina Inn, offers overnight lodging for people wishing to stay in the harbor. The Marina Inn will keep you close to the top-notch amenities thatDana Point Harbor offers, as well supply you with comfortable accommodations, perfect for a weekend get-away, or a corporate meeting.
At the far west end of Dana Point Harbor, you’ll find the Ocean Institute, which is a unique educational experience for children and adults alike. The Ocean Institute also displays the brig “Pilgrim” which is a full-sized replica of the square-rigged vessel on which Richard Henry Dana sailed into this cove. The Pilgrim is docked adjacent to the fishing pier and offers school children the experience of life aboard a sailing ship in the 19th century.
In addition to the facilities that Dana Point Harbor offers year-round, there are numerous events, which attract thousands of visitors and spectators every year. Kicking off in February is the Festival of Whales and its associated activities, which lasts for two weeks. Other events during the year include: the Classic Wooden Boat Festival, offshore powerboat races in June, spectacular July 4th fireworks show, Tallship Festival in September, and the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot Race. Holiday In the Harbor and the annual Christmas Boat Parade concludes the year’s events.