Dana Point Activities in the Fall
Do the iconic images of leaves turning into saturated warm colors and the smell of cinnamon mixed with cloves and pumpkin spice-flavored lattes wafting about in the air signal the return of Fall in your mind? This autumn season brings forth comfortable temperatures and a hub of Dana Point activities for you to choose from, making fall activities in Southern California the best way to spend time in South Orange County. From pumpkin patches to live music festivals, thrilling water adventures, and coastal clean-ups we have suggestions to keep your calendars full. Read on for all the juicy details you can be sure to add to your 2021 Dana Point activities fall calendar.
Spend Time at the Beach
First and foremost, we have to recommend spending some time at the beach this fall season. The air is quite warm with the remnants of summer still in the air and the surf at Doheny State Beach is less crowded than the hustle and bustle of busy summer months filled with beachgoers from across the globe. September is also Coastal Cleanup Month throughout California and if you missed the annual clean-up day on September 18th, you can still take action all month long (and throughout the whole year too)!
Do your part by taking an extra empty bag to the beach and start your Dana Point activities list by taking environmental action. This is one of those fall activities in Southern California that gets you involved and part of the community whether you live here all year long or are just visiting this region while on vacation. Most beach clean-ups will be taking place between 9:00 am-noon across the state and according to the California Coastal Commission, if you are unable to attend in person all you need to do is download the CleanSwell app for iPhone or Android and you can log your clean up on your own time throughout September. Whaley easy right? So bring your gloves and your hand sanitizer and help to protect our incredibly amazing marine life and gorgeous sea birds by picking up pieces of trash for an hour or more while you enjoy the sounds of the surf crashing onto the warm sand. We often see a lot of human debris and Mylar balloons in the water on our trips and this can wreak havoc on marine life. Cleaning up our beaches is a great way to give back and say “thank you” to our planet as summer ends. Plus, the turtles, sharks, whales, gulls, terns, herons, crabs, fish, seals, and California Sea Lions and dolphins will thank you too! This is why local beach clean-up has landed in the top spot on our list of Dana Point activities. Linking beach communities together everywhere, through participating in a state-wide coastal clean-up all month long is the best way to begin to enjoy the fall season.
Dolphin and Whale Watching Experiences
Right down the street from Doheny State Beach is Capt. Dave’s Whale Watching and Dolphin Safari, offering up the most memorable experiences of all of our fall activities in Southern California. Joining us on an exhilarating boat ride on one of our amazing dolphin and whale watching safaris while surfing the sparkling seas just off the coast of Dana Point, California, the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World® is certainly something you do not want to miss out on this fall. Autumn marks the season when gray whales, Eschrichtius robustus, begin to pass through our clear blue waters as they migrate down to Mexican lagoons to birth their calves and fuel up scrumptious amphipods before beginning their long journey back to arctic waters in late Spring. Our adventurous, thrilling, and always super safe Zodiac-style boats are some of the fastest in Dana Point Harbor and are sure to kickstart your fall festivities into gear. Any day is a great day to join us on a trip. Never overbooked to always ensure plenty of room for you and your guests aboard each vessel. Our comfortable larger catamarans have opportunities for larger groups to see whales and dolphins up close and personal too. Ever wonder what it looks like to see a pod of common dolphins swimming in unison together underwater? Our state-of-the-art eye-to-eye underwater viewing pods aboard Manute’a allow you to do just that!
Are you planning a special event or prefer a more intimate group setting? No problem! Book a private charter today and enjoy the comfort of being with your group having the space to enjoy the whole boat to yourselves. With several vessel options to suit any passenger from ages 2-102, we have you covered. One of the things that set us apart as the best whale watching dolphin and whale watching safari is the brownies, of course! Mrs. Capt. Dave’s triple chocolate fudge brownies with coveted secret family recipe ingredients are our way of thanking you for joining us aboard our eco-tours. Nothing beats a flavorful sweet treat packed with yummy goodness after taking an exciting boat ride, celebrating the thrill of seeing wildlife in the wild doing what they do best – swimming wild and free! These brownies are worth having more than once too. Every passenger is offered a brownie at the end of the trip but if you are like us, you may just want to ship some to your friends at home to enjoy for the fall holidays. Lucky for you we ship worldwide! So come for the fun and the treats and book a whale watching safari with us today!
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Dana Point activities we have to include this season is picking out your annual holiday pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. With so many pumpkin patches closed last year, the time-honored family fun tradition of heading to the patch is one that we are thrilled to have back in 2021. One of the things that makes fall activities in Southern California so wonderful is the fact that the weather is mild and typically sunny throughout the fall months, making the season enjoyable for all stages of ages. If you are like us and can’t wait to adorn your house, dorm, or condo/apartment with festive fall décor then there is no time like the present to visit a pumpkin patch. Opening in late September and located just South of most Dana Point activities at the Outlets of San Clemente, ABC Tree Farms, and Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch returns for fall fun. You can jumpstart your way into the season by picking out pumpkins to carve, eat or an array of colorful pumpkins on your doorstep to greet friendly neighbors, friends, and family wherever you call home. There is something for the whole family to enjoy on a myriad of inflatable amusements including bounce houses, GIANT slides, and obstacle courses, duck bumper boats as well as different types of pumpkins, gourds, pumpkin accessories, snacks, beverages, and more. Regardless of how you choose to have fun at the patch, pumpkins always have a way of revving up that feeling of fall in the air.
Ohana Music Festival
If you are someone who loves live music and the atmosphere of having your toes in the sand then this year’s list of fall activities in Southern California would not be complete without mentioning the famous outdoor Ohana Music Festival! Ohana returns to Doheny State Beach after missing out last year while musicians waited through a 15-month hold due to COVID-19 restrictions. This is one of the best Dana Point activities in September and this list of musicians this year are ready and anxiously waiting to feel your musical energy. This year’s show is so packed with musical genius that encore performances have been added. There is now not one weekend of music but TWO back-to-back weekends filled with live performances featuring chart-topping Billboard artists, local eats from local hotspots, and the best beach view you could ever ask for! COVID restrictions will be enforced so be sure to check out the official Ohana Festival website for more info on entry requirements. Parking is limited so be sure to check out the free local Dana Point Trolley schedule and hitch a ride to the beach to sing along.
Spooktacular Halloween Events
Are you traveling with children over the Halloween holiday who may be super sad to find out they could miss out on the fanfare of trick or treating? If you have little ones, don’t fret they can still participate in Halloween fright. Dana Point activities that cater specifically towards your little ones during Halloween include Dana Point’s Halloween Spooktacular & Trunk or Treat event held this year on October 23rd from 2-8 PM. Located in the parking lot of the Dana Point Community Center, safe tricks and treats will be offered along with cookie decorating activities, mazes, costume parades, appearances by the Dana Point Firefighters, and activities designed for all ages. A Halloween-themed movie will begin at 6:30 PM and free hot chocolate, popcorn, and candy will be available while supplies last. This is a one-stop event where you can grab dinner here too! Food for sale will be available on-site from Tacos4Troops Food Truck and Kona Ice.
Dana Point Turkey Trot
What list of fall activities in Southern California doesn’t include a Turkey Trot? They are a great way to keep your body moving and healthy throughout the holidays! This year’s turkey trot is a staple when it comes to Dana Point activities and is held annually on the morning of Thanksgiving day. This is a perfect opportunity to bring you holiday guests and burn off some extra calories before indulging in all of your yummy fall favorite recipes. This year marks the 44th consecutive year of the Dana Point Turkey Trot and we are excited to share that this will be an in-person event! Choose from a family fun 5k or a longer 10k race and get your body moving alongside our community. If you are bringing the whole family to enjoy these Dana Point activities, be sure to register your little ones ages 3 -12 for the one-mile race too. Registration begins at 10:15 AM PST, after the conclusion of the 5K and 10K races. If you are not ready to be in a larger group, that is ok too! This turkey trot is for everyone, everywhere, and is being offered virtually. A portion of proceeds from this year’s Turkey Trot events benefits local charities too so signing up for this race not only helps burn calories, but also provides local support to organizations in need too. Now that’s a whaley great reason to get out there! Be sure to check in daily with race coordinators on official race day pages as the event dates get closer to stay updated on any COVID-related race day changes that potentially could occur.
Until next time,
Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari