Described as “the most romantic spot in California” by Richard Henry Dana Jr. in his seafarer’s journal, Two Years Before the Mast, Dana Point (formerly Capistrano Bay) gained from Dana not only noteworthy credentials, but also its name. Every bit as scenic today as it was when Dana’s ship arrived some 180 years ago, Dana Point is both a desirable residential address and a luxurious resort destination.
As with many of Southern California’s most appealing beach communities, Dana Point first gained popularity among surfers, who flocked there in the 1950s for the ocean’s shapely rollers. While development began in the 1920s and the conversation about cityhood started in 1959, the town remained the sleepy secret of a slowly growing population and those who sought weekend respite from the bustle of nearby cities.
Finally incorporated in 1989, Dana Point is today home to about 34,000 residents, 2,500 boats, over 1,900 hotel rooms, 28 beautiful parks, and close to seven miles of beach, gorgeous rolling coastal hills, and prominent bluffs. Calling itself the “whale watching capital of the world,” the area is known for sport fishing, walking, bicycling, and parasailing as well as beach-going activities and boat charters of every ilk. Walking trails follow the manicured bluffs and a funicular – an “inclined elevator” – carries families to and from Strands Beach. Along with a robust and well-ranked school system, Dana Point is home to the Ocean Institute, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to ocean awareness and preservation that serves 135,000 students annually.
Located approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, in southern Orange County, Dana Point is under 25 miles from the John Wayne Airport, an international facility. With four luxury resorts perfectly perched for daytime and sunset panoramas, Dana Point offers a wealth of rewards as a romantic getaway and as a convention destination. Unlimited beauty, abundant shopping, and superb restaurants make it convenient and desirable for both residents and visitors.