The gorgeous seaside town of Dana Point is known for its upscale elegance and breathtaking coastal views. Located in Orange County, Dana Point sports wildly beautiful bluffs and coves, creating a stunning backdrop for a lavish lifestyle. With nine pristine beaches and an array of spectacular waterfront estates, Dana Point knows how to add drama to a day at the beach.
The panoramic vistas and crashing waves are only the beginning of the abundance of things to do in Dana Point. This posh it-spot is known for world-class dining, a dynamic arts and entertainment scene, and a bevy of outdoor activities the nature lover will adore. Renowned golf courses dot the lush terrain, music festivals invite residents to bask in the dulcet tones of globally recognized performers, and even the wild animals show up at the Dana Point party. The California grey whale migration passes right by the shoreline, bringing majestic beauty to this serene spot. The possibilities are endless in this lovely town, but these are the top six reasons people love living in Dana Point.
1. Sand and surf
Surfing has long been a popular Dana Point activity. Dating back to the 1930s, the surf culture is a significant part of Dana Point’s identity – and for good reason. America’s obsession with surfing began in Dana Point, with the breezy beach town at the heart of major breaks, a surfing magazine, and the legendary Killer Dana wave that came seemingly from nowhere, out of the deep water, and crashed down on the rock-lined shore.
Today surfers catch waves at Capistrano Beach, while golfers and those with a penchant for afternoon picnics head to Salt Creek Beach. Dana Point Harbor hosts the annual Dana Point Festival of Whales, a mesmerizing display of California grey whales migrating up the coast. Dana Point Harbor is also the home of the illustrious Ocean Institute. This interactive marine museum offers science education in a fascinating setting and invites the curious of all ages to join the whale and marine life tours, kayak tours, the tall ships festival, and the tide pool hike.
2. Fine dining
Dana Point enjoys a reputation as a romantic date destination, and based on the bevy of first-class restaurants, there is little wonder why. Perched on the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, Whitestone Restaurant brings glamor and high drama to the table. The chandelier-adorned dining room and chef-driven menu set the stage for a sumptuous experience, and the carefully curated wine list and creative cocktails add to the celebratory atmosphere.
Coastal Kitchen puts fresh seafood and classic California cuisine front and center, exemplifying that breezy SoCal beach vibe, and the superb hospitality and top-notch fare have secured a loyal clientele. Start with the smoked salmon and crab cake salad before moving on to the northern Alaskan halibut with lemon butter sauce and crispy rock shrimp, and you’ll soon understand the hype.
3. Decadent brunch
Brunch takes on a new style at Giana's. Part European boulangerie and part sophisticated hotspot, this refined restaurant features a delectable menu of organic and locally sourced fare. The cured salmon with fennel, pink peppercorn, and poached eggs is an outstanding dish, as are the eggs Pomodoro and the epic avocado toast.
Perhaps you would prefer your brunch with a glittering view of the Pacific – if so, head to the refined Raya. Nestled in the Ritz Carlton, this luscious bistro features a dazzling menu of Latin American cuisine, organic and sustainably sourced ingredients, and magnificent oceanfront vistas. The elegant menu includes ahi tuna ceviche, achiote salmon with cauliflower puree and crispy maitake, and champagne.
4. Vibrant arts and entertainment
Every spring, the Doheny Blues Festival brings the rich sounds of the blues to Dana Point. The event’s Vendor Village provides guests with every conceivable cuisine, from cajun and Southern barbeque to vegetarian fare and craft brews, and three stages play host to a stellar lineup of celebrated performers.
5. Bubbles and breweries
Dana Point is a bastion of unique experiences and culinary excellence. Craft House brings rustic chic to the gastropub trend, offering a distinctive menu and globally inspired tastes. The spicy tuna crispy rice is a local favorite, as is the wagyu steak burger and pan-roasted sea scallops. On the drinks side of things, the rare whiskey menu is the talk of the town, and the craft cocktails are genuinely spectacular.
Craft beer is the star of the show at Dana Point Ale House, which offers a carefully curated selection of over two dozen craft brews. The minimalist tasting room is casual and to the point, allowing the beer to shine. Bring friends to enjoy cold drinks and salty snacks. Wine tasting is a popular Dana Point pastime, and local companies bring together the sparkle of good champagne with the firecracker colors of the sunset sky with evening sailboat rides.
6. Spectacular real estate
Are you interested in exploring Dana Point real estate? Contact Danielle Wilson at Coastal OC Group today to begin touring properties.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock