Dana Point, on the Orange County coast, a popular surfing destination, also has one of the very few harbors. It contains a replica of the ship, the Pilgrim, which is used as a classroom by the Ocean Institute at the harbor and is a designated California Historical Landmark.
More than 8,000 teachers and 100,000 K-12 students participate each year in the Ocean Institute’s ocean science and maritime history programs and view marine animals and exhibits that are ocean-themed. They take trips on the R/V Sea Explorer, the Institute’s 70-foot marine science research vessel.
The city is named for Richard Henry Dana, Jr., the author of "Two Years Before the Mast", which gave a complimentary description of the area. The population at the 2010 census was 33,351. According to Trulia, the median sales price of homes for February 19 to May 18 was $865,000, which is an eight percent year-over-year rise. The median rent is $3,900 monthly.
Festival of Whales is held over two weekends in March.
The 10th Annual Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling was held on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, 2016, when top professionals, amateurs and others raced around the downtown Lantern District on the best bike race course in America overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
The Tall Ships Festival is held in September and is the largest annual such gathering on the nation’s West Coast.
Located in the city of Dana Point, it is one of the most popular state beaches, attracting close to one million visitors per year. It was the first state beach in California. At the northern end, there is a surfing beach and a lawn of five acres with volleyball courts and picnic facilities. At the southern end, there are campgrounds, some of which are only steps away from the beach. There are also hiking and bike trails, tide pools, a visitor center containing aquariums, lifeguard patrols and towers, and popular surf fishing.