Monthly Happenings Jan03


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Monthly Happenings

Check each month for the latest happenings in the Harbor!


Friday, Dec 5 & Saturday Dec 6 – 7:30pm Friday, Dec 12 & Saturday Dec 13 – 7:30pm

Boaters from all over Orange County are invited to join in the fun and get creative with the theme for another fun and fantastic boat parade of lights! In celebration of our 40 years of lighting the holiday season up with the boat parade, this year’s theme goes big with “FANTASEA HOLIDAY” in conjunction with a new and exciting event to be held in Dana Point Harbor called “ILLUMINOCEAN”. Showcasing the rich maritime history, magical ocean sealife and the beach lifestyle found in Dana Point. The Harbor will be lit up like never before! We can’t wait to see what these creative boaters will come up with. We invite you to come on down and be a part of this illuminating experience.

Boaters from all around Orange County decorate their boats and vie for the awards of Judges Choice, Best Theme, Best Use of Lights, Best Animation, Most Colorful, Most Original, Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat and the Perpetual Trophy for the Yacht Club with the Most Entries. New Awards and Cash Prizes will help to inspire participants. Be part of the parade and enter your own boat, contact us at or pick up an entry form at Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching. You can view the parade FREE from anywhere in the Harbor, or make reservations at one of our restaurants to view it from a cozy and warm spot. Come on down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. Dana Point Harbor is at 34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA. For more information call the Harbor Info line at (949) 923-2255, email us at


Fri., December 5 – 4:30pm-7:30pm – Mariner’s Village/Alley & Dana Wharf

Join us to celebrate the holiday season. The three areas of the Harbor, Dana Wharf, Mariners Village and Mariner’s Alley will all host holiday activities geared to families and children. Santa is anxious to hear your Holiday wishes and is available for photos (bring your camera). There are many fun family activities planned, including photos with Santa, performances by various characters, holiday crafts, people painting, carolers and other activities. Just look for the brightly lit, Sandy Clause in front of Harpoon Henrys at 34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point Harbor (at Dana Point Harbor Drive). The parking and events are FREE! For info call 496-6177 or (949) 923-2255


Sat. Dec 6th & Sun., Dec 7th , 10am-2pm – Dana Wharf Docks

Come aboard the “Sum Fun” for a twenty-minute Harbor cruise with Santa and his helpers. Santa will be hearing those holiday wishes as you cruise the Harbor. The El Camino Real Junior Woman’s Club will be on hand to take your photo for a $3 donation. What a unique and fun way for kids of all ages to visit with Santa, so dress warm. Location: East end of Dana Point Harbor at Dana Wharf Sportfishing docks, 34675 Golden Lantern, between the Jolly Roger and the Wind & Sea. Boats donated by Dana Wharf Sportfishing.


Sat. Dec 13th 10am-3pm – El Torito Courtyard

The Pet Project Foundation is excited to host the 3rd Annual Santa Paws event. Bring down your favorite pet and have their picture taken with Santa for a small fee. All proceeds go to support the Pet Project Foundation.

Dana Point IlluminOcean

Dana Point IlluminOcean will electrify the Harbor with 40 nights of holiday lights. This wonderland by the sea features a brilliant spectacle of 18 oversized lighting sculptures with over 225,000 LED lights, and is free to the public for viewing nightly at sundown. From octopus and sharks, to starfish and surfers, the dazzling displays are highlighted by a towering glow-motion tree, light tunnels stretching longer than a football field and over a dozen gigantic lighting sculptures —some so large, visitors can walk through and inside the belly of a glowing 40-foot Blue whale!

Stroll through the colorful collection of immersive attractions, every step is filled with vibrant sights and sounds. On weekends roaming street performers entertain crowds, glow merchandise shines and “Whale Eyes” 3D glasses give a must-see holographic look at this holiday spectacle. See the lights. Explore the sights. This year and every year, only at Dana Point IlluminOcean. For additional information, visit


Check out the 2014-2015 Dana Point Destination Guide for information on our beautiful city. You can review the Destination Guide by going to the link: Dana Point Destination Guide

The Ocean Institute

OCEAN INSTITUTE is full of memory making opportunities! For information call (949) 496-2274 or online at Check out the fun events below and don’t forget to get your ticket for the 10th Annual Laguna Beach Gold Coast Raffle (see below).

Give a Thank You to our Ocean – Weekends in November; 10am – 3pm

Special activities included with weekend admission. The ocean provides a vast array of resources for humans and this is your opportunity to understand in greater detail just what these resources are. Learn about our own native treasures in Southern California, from marine resources to unique plants and animals on the coast. Make your own cards for the holidays and show your appreciation and gratefulness for Earth’s gifts.

Marine Mammal Cruise – Weekends in November; 10am

Journey to sea with Ocean Institute scientists and they introduce you to the local marine wildlife; including an astounding variety of fish, microscopic plankton, and the animals that live in sediment retrieved from the ocean floor. Encounter a pod of playful dolphin or witness the majesty of a traveling whale. Discover the amazing, and sometimes bizarre life that lives just beneath the waves! Visit for complete information.

10th Annual Laguna Beach Million Dollar Home Raffle

Thursday, September 18 – Early Bird Deadline

Southern California’s most successful Home Raffle is back! Buy a ticket and secure your chance to win a beautiful Laguna Beach home or $1 million in cash. Tickets are $150 each and a maximum of 21,000 tickets will be sold. Visit or call (949) 542-3600 for complete information.

* Purchase one ticket by September 18th and qualify for over $84,000 in bonus prizes. ?* Buy two tickets and qualify for $160,000 in bonus prizes! The sooner you get in, the more chances you have to win fabulous prizes including Lexus Hybrid leases, Dream Vacations, Shopping Sprees, & more.?* Buy a ticket and qualify for our Refer a Friend Drawing – Encourage a friend, business associate or family member to buy a ticket and mention your name when they buy. When they win, you win too! 1st prize for you and your friend is a Lexis IS 250 car lease or $7,000 each.

Veterans’ Day – Sunday, November 9; 10am – 3pm

Any veteran with an ID can explore the Ocean Institute for a discounted rate of $4.50.

Facility Closed Sunday, November 16

Thanksgiving Holiday November 27 – 28

The Ocean Institute will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Laurena G. Chambers Gallery will be open Friday, Nov. 28 from 9am – 5pm.

The Harbor Grill

The Holidays are around the corner. We are now accepting reservations for intimate group gatherings & holiday parties. Enjoy our festive one of kind Christmas decor and live piano music while dining. We are happy to customize your special occasion to your liking, please contact the restaurant for further information. Have you been into to try our newest holiday dessert creation? Be sure and sink your spoon into our Pumpkin Creme brûlée. This warm creamy dessert boasts of pumpkin, vanilla, toasted sugar and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Every Friday night featured entree is our very popular Braised Short Rib. This tender cut of meat is enhanced with a rich savory Cabernet Sauvignon reduction served with mashed potatoes, sweet pearl onions, carrots and asparagus. Great way to warm up on a cool evening. “Like” us on Facebook and keep up with our daily promotions & specials. You may view our full menu online Reservations: 949-240-1416 and

Captain Dave's Dolphin & Whale Safari

Daily Dolphin and Whale Watching

Get up close & personal with fin whales, minke whales, and humpback whales this November! You might even see an early gray whale!

This year has blessed us with many rare encounters including most recently sperm whales and pilot whales. Watch our sperm whale video, which features incredible footage filmed from our Underwater Viewing Pods.

Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari has daily, year-round, trips to see magnificent whales and mega-pods of wild dolphins aboard our high-tech, never-crowded, catamarans. During the safari you’ll learn how these animals live from our experienced naturalists. Only aboard our catamaran Manute’a can you see dolphins underwater, without getting wet, in our Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods. On the bow our Eye-Spy Dolphin Nets give you a really up-close encounter with the breathtaking animals! And Mrs. Captain Dave’s yummy triple fudge brownies are served as a special treat!

2 and 1/2 hours. Reservations recommended. Please call 949-488-2828 or reserve online

Relive The Dolphin & Whale Adventure!

At you can purchase beautiful photographs and photos gifts of dolphins, whales, and other marine wildlife photographs taken during our whale watching trips. We offer a variety of different print options, from 8 x 10 up to 36 x 36, with several mounting options. You can also buy gifts including keepsake boxes, t-shirts, mugs, coasters, tote bags, and more with your favorite dolphin or whale photo! Visit

Please call (949) 488-2828 or reserve online at

Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching


Dedicated to helping locals and visitors alike enjoy the unique wonders of Dana Point Harbor and the Orange County coastline. The warm waters right out of Dana Point Harbor are flourishing with sea life including whales, dolphin, harbor seals, and California sea lion. Our thriving coastal waters provide bountiful fishing of sand bass, calico bass, halibut, bonito, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, albacore, and dorado.

Whether coming to Dana Point for fishing or whale watching, or privately chartering one of our fishing or whale watching boats, our catamaran, or our sailboats, one thing is for certain; your trip through the beautiful and scenic Orange County coast will be unforgettable. Every Tuesday is 1/2 price! All local fishing trips and all whale watching cruises are 1/2 price on Tuesdays! Dana Wharf just received the 2013 DANA POINT TIMES PEOPLE’S CHOICE GOLD AWARD FOR BEST HARBOR RECREATION/EXCURSION! Check out the new Halibut Derby with Dana Wharf. For information go to or call (949) 496-5794

Every Tuesday is 1/2 price! All local fishing trips and all whale watching cruises are 1/2 price on Tuesdays!

Whale Watching Trips


Day Trips Adults: $45 ~ Seniors (55+)/ Military: $35 ~ Kids (3-12):$25 ~ Kids 2 and under are FREE! 2 Hours. 10am, 12pm, 2pm Join us as we search for whales, dolphin, sea lion and other exciting marine life! All of our cruises are narrated by our expert captains who will educate you on the abundant ocean life on our coast. Trips are all 2 hours long, plenty of time to discover the world that lies beneath! Remember that sightings are guaranteed! If you don’t see A GOOD SHOWING of whales or dolphin, you will get your ticket back and are invited to come out again with us! These “whale checks” never expire.

Winter Wine Cruise

$49 per person 5:30pm – 7:00pm – This cruise runs Fridays & Sundays (Except boat parade nights of Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13)

Join us for a 90-minute evening cruise aboard our luxury catamaran through the beautifully lit up Dana Point Harbor. This cruise will feature the lights of beautiful and charming Dana Point Harbor while you enjoy some winter Reds paired with delectable cheeses and crackers, fresh fruit and assorted nuts. Wines are from The Organic Wine Cellar featuring a signature wine by notable and local artist Wyland. Reservations recommended. (949) 496-5794.

Riviera Snorkeling and Dive Charters

SNORKELING AND SCUBA DIVING ADVENTURES – Snorkeling is fun and easy. Or come joins us beneath the blue sea scuba diving and explore our fascinating reefs. Riviera Dive Charters and Beach City Scuba offers snorkeling and scuba diving aboard The Riviera as well as private costal cruises and Burials at Sea. Not a scuba diver, try a quick resort course and learn to dive. The Riviera is the only dive vessel located in the convenient Dana Point Harbor in South Orange County and is an exceptional way to experience Orange County’s local snorkeling and diving. Our local reefs are covered with lush kelp forests where marine life abounds. If you are diving aboard the Riviera you will enjoy a 2 tank local dive trip exploring the reefs and kelp forests of San Clemente, Laguna Beach and Dana Point. Experience divers may want to explore the beautiful wreck dive, The A.C.E. The Riviera is outfitted to accommodate 30 passengers but we only take 20 divers and snorkelers to maximize your comfort! The Riviera provides tanks, weights, food and drinks. Nitrox is available upon request. Private coastal cruises and burials at sea are available, ask us for our weekday discount. Call Riviera Dive Charters today. Tel. 866.400.3483


The center invites you to check out their classes and sailing opportunities. They are also available for meetings, special functions and weddings. They are located at 34451 Ensenada Place (949) 923-2215 and You can take sailing instruction classes for the entire family, or just adults or children as well as boating skills and safety classes, paddle boarding and kayaking classes. Get with the program and join a fitness class jazzercise, body sculpting, yoga and self-defense are all offered.

Dana Point Marina Inn

There is always something exciting going on in the Harbor. Why not treat yourself and stay for a day or two! The only in Harbor Hotel, The Dana Point Marina Inn has just been voted the Silver Lantern Award for “Best Lodging in Dana Point”. They offer very affordable and competitive rates and have wonderful redecorated rooms and who can beat the view? Restaurants, shopping and activities right at your guests’ fingertips. Give them a call at (949) 496-1203 or visit