Explore Orange County: Dana Point Tide Pools

8:30:00 AM


Where: Dana Point, CA -- Park at the Ocean Institute and walk west around the point of the harbor.

When: For tide pools go whenever its low tide, although we have been at other times and love the sunsets either way.

Cost: Free

Time: It is a fairly small beach so you can spend as much time as you want. We went for 90 minutes to explore the pools with cousins, and for 20 minutes just to get out of the house and catch the sunset.


Brett and I had been down to Dana Point Harbor several times since we moved in, but never really explored it a bunch. We have eaten at a restaurant on the dock and met some friends for a bonfire but somehow we missed that there is an entirely different beach and area on the other side of the harbor. It wasn't until some other mom friends invited me there showed it to me that I found one of my new favorite places.

The beach and tide pool area is so easy to get to that it made the perfect trip for us on an antsy Sunday afternoon and then again when we had family visiting that wanted to take a little bit of time to let their kids run around and enjoy the ocean. The parking lot is close enough that we don't worry about bringing the stroller (which is also good because you have to walk down about a dozen steps) but there are also plenty of rocks to sit on and hold a baby if you need.

I think my favorite part was being there just before sunset and on a clear evening being able to see everything, even the silhouette of Catalina Island. It's just that beautiful. Its also fun for Brett to explore these rough and cliff lined beaches because it reminds him of going to the Oregon Coast as a kid.










One thing is for sure, we will be making lots of trips back to this little gem. Its the perfect little getaway that will come in handy during those days when you just have to get out of the house.




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