Dana Point is located about an hour south of Los Angeles. A beautiful city with beautiful beaches. Originally an artist’s colony, Laguna Beach is now a posh beach community. We were fortunate enough to travel for work, the even hosted at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, a suburban affluent community which was California’s first community to be master-planned. The city was famous for the low crime rate, coastal climate and relaxing surroundings abundant in public trails and parks. So, what to do???
Laguna, Main Beach is the easiest beach to find and located right off the Pacific Coast Highway. Prepare for crowds given the ease of access. Next to Main Beach, Heisler Parks offers a one mile trail each way along the hillside with view of the beach. Sculptures lines the trail which can be easily managed, even in sandals.
Table Rock is becoming more popular although you will be fighting less crowds. Look for the stairs on your left on Table Rock Drive for access to the beach.
1,000 Steps Beach offers seclusion, beautiful water, natural pools, and a cave worth exploring. While the stairs leading to the beach are not quite 1,000 steps, it will be a workout! Look for people coming and going up and down the stairs. The entrance is located near the hospital.
Crescent Bay Point Park is small but offers a bird’s eye view of Laguna Beach. For wildlife enthusiasts, you will spot sea lions and possible whales depending on the season.
Doheny State Beach was within walking distance from our hotel and right next to Dana Point Harbor. You will see the locals surfing here at night and in the early morning hours.
Whale Watching is offered throughout the Orange County area. Southern California is home to gray whales, Orcas, and the massive blue whale. However, seeing a whale is magical although a minor detail for a great experience. Many companies offer great discounts and you are sure to see seals and dolphins and have a beautiful trip on the water. We bought ticket with Dana Point Whale only $14.50 a person! Although no whales were found on our outing, we say hundreds if not thousands of 'tooth whales' which really look like a dolphin. A bonus is we took the 4pm cruise and saw a beautiful sunset over the Pacific.
SUNSETS!! They are absolutely incredible in southern California. Each was was truly a sight to see as the sun disappears over the Pacific Ocean.
Los Rios Historic District is a quaint little area with many photo taking opportunities, cute restaurants and coffee shops.