About Dana Point

The Whale Watching Capital of the West

Incorporated in 1989, the City of Dana Point is named after Richard Henry Dana Jr. (1815-1882), a Harvard-trained lawyer, seaman, and author of the classic sea journal, Two Years Before the Mast (1840). In his journal, Dana documents his voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California on the merchant ship, Pilgrim. Therein, Dana describes the area once known as Capistrano Bay, as “the most romantic spot on the California coast.” Today, Capistrano Bay is known as Dana Point.

A romantic and historic harbor, Dana Point is just south of Laguna Beach, only 40 miles south of Disneyland, and about 60 miles north of San Diego. Dana Point offers breathtaking vistas, beautiful beaches and world-class whale watching.

Southern California has more wild dolphin than anywhere else in the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii and Florida combined! With over 400,000 in just one species alone, it’s not unusual to see pods of 1,000 or more, and sometimes mega-pods as large as 10,000!

Dana Point is unique because it has unusually deep underwater coastal canyons within one mile of shore, where small fish live. The kind of fish dolphins and whales love to eat! That means that on most of our trips, we don’t go much further than five miles to see magnificent whales and dolphins. Learn more and take a whale watching trip today!

Manute’a heading home at Dana Point Harbor, courtesy Cliff Wassmann