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Dana Point Is The #1 Location For Whale Watching In The World. Here’s Why.

Drone view of humpback whale blowing rainbow

Does your desired Orange County activity include seeing a powerful Humpback Whale breach out of the water with its massive 40 ton body taking flight, sound like what you want to do in Dana Point? Any time a whale breaches out of the water, showcasing their robust and magnificent bodies, passengers “ooh” and “awe” and marvel over the incredibly massive size of these acrobatic animals. Aside from a Boeing 737, what other object possessing over 40 tons of mass is capable of taking flight like that? If you are visiting Orange County for the first time, returning for a duplicate version of the vacation you loved last time you were in this part of the world, or one of our backyard locals, you may find yourself wondering what to do in Dana Point this year. Well, we have your answer! The romantic lure of the vast blue Pacific Ocean is calling your name. Taking a boat trip out at sea is a MUST DO while in town and tops our list as the very best of orange county activities to choose from.

Humpback whale leaps out of the water, copyright Dolphin Safari


There is nowhere else in the world with more opportunity to see incredible marine wildlife, than Dana Point, Whale Capital of the World®. With over 14 cetacean species sighted in these waters, the month of June (or any time of year) is an ideal time to capture a glimpse of the myriad of different whales and dolphin species visiting our warm waters. As whales migrate south to give birth before returning north to colder climates, they will stop and feed and teach their young in our nutrient rich waters along their way. Riding the swell alongside their path is the “to do” in what to do in Dana Point. Some of these spectacular visiting mammals you could see include the great Blue Whale, magnificent Humpback Whale, the grand Fin Whale, the playful Common and highly sociable Bottlenose dolphins, the mighty Minke Whale, the unique Risso’s dolphins and beautiful Bryde’s whale making dolphin and whale watching out of Dana Point the absolute BEST harbor to book a trip out to sea. If you don’t believe us, take a look at some of our recent sightings. Nothing is more tranquil than seeing the Blue Whale, the world’s largest mammal on earth! If you are wondering what to do in Dana Point and haven’t already booked your trip, be sure to reserve your spot on one of our safe and fast zodiacs or aboard one of our larger catamarans or even a private charters within our fleet at Capt. Dave’s Whale Watching and Dolphins Safari.

Another orange county activity taking place in ocean waters off Dana Point is an environmental phenomenon called upwelling. Upwelling occurs when coastal winds stir up the cooler nutrient-dense water deep below in our ocean trenches, creating a rich atmosphere for the foundation of all ocean life. When upwelling occurs, surface waters are oxygenated, the warmer nutrient depleted water at the surface is replaced with colder nutrient dense water from below. This process creates massive algae blooms and encourages the growth of small invertebrates called plankton. To a whale, consuming plankton is the most desirable activity they do when they are planning what to do in Dana Point. To these gentle giants, “krill” is what’s for dinner and due to upwelling, one of the biggest reasons why Dana Point is so rich with krill and other food sources. There is no other place in the world where you can catch a glimpse of this magnificent mammal while also seeing dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and more, and all possibly in the same day!

Just like whales, dolphins also know what to do in Dana Point, and that is…HAVE FUN! There are over 450,000 dolphins along the coasts of California with the majority of these highly social animals loving hanging out and playfully swimming in the water right here in Dana Point. Common dolphins love to interact together in pods. All year long, we can see hundreds to thousands of dolphins on a single trip. There is nothing like seeing a mega-herd engulf every side of the boat giving you the chance to be face to face with wildlife during this amazing orange county activity! When considering what to do in Dana Point, making sure that you spend time out on the water should be a priority on your orange county activities list of things to do.

Capt. Dave's catamaran Manute'a and a dolphin stampede


Capt. Dave’s Whale Watching and Dolphin Safari also knows what to do in Dana Point and has been intimately involved in supporting the protection of the waters off the coast of Dana Point for years. Our very own Mrs. Captain Dave has joined hands with allies within the area to create the first ever National Marine Mammal Heritage site in North America by the World Cetacean Alliance. Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari is founded on providing educational marine trips your whole family will enjoy! We want you to see these animals up close so you are able to create your own personal emotional connection with these amazing animals. This is why we engineered eye-to-eye fully submerged underwater viewing pods on our glass bottom boat called Manute’a.

Going on a whale watching excursion is definitely the best of what to do in Dana Point. And, these are just a few reasons why reserving a trip with us is always at the top of our favorite orange county activities!

On board, you will be greeted with friendly crew members and Marine Naturalists along with our tenured sea worthy captains to help answer any questions you have. Their expert knowledge of marine life and local awareness of the area is always an advantage when explaining the differences in the various species you will see while out on the boats. So book your visit with us today! We can’t wait to have you come aboard.

Until then,

Captain Dave’s Whale Watching and Dolphin Safari Team

Gift an unforgettable dolphin and whale watching experience! With year-round whales, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, and more, any time is a great time for your recipient to enjoy their gift.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods…” – Dr. Thomas Gilovich