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Dana Point

Located one beach south of Laguna Beach, Dana Point is known as an excellent surfing and recreational boating community in South Orange County. Not to be missed are the trails that wind through Dana Point Headlands Conservation, which also afford sweeping Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island views. Dana Point is also well-known for offering dolphin and whale-watching excursions. A strong, continuous surf rolls onto its beaches, which include Doheny State Beach, Salt Creek Beach, and the Strands. 

Dana Point Harbor is currently planning a major expansion to its marina and public access areas that will offer additional restaurants, shopping, parks, and bicycle and walking trails.

Featured Dana Point Communities

Monarch Bay

Monarch Bay is a luxury gated oceanfront community located at the very north end of Dana Point, where it meets the nearby neighboring South Laguna Beach community of Three Arch Bay. The intimate collection of only 214 homes features a range of styles, from abodes constructed in the 1960s to recently built contemporary masterpieces. Amenities include a recently, extensively remodeled clubhouse offering an oceanfront restaurant and bar with firepits and direct access to Salt Creek Beach. Other clubhouse services include fresh beach towels, umbrellas, and beach chairs! 

The clubhouse restaurant is managed by the nearby Monarch Bay Hotel &  Spa, which also includes a world-class, multiple award-winning restaurant, 18-hole golf course and spa. Monarch Bay is also near the Ritz Carlton Hotel & Spa and only a few miles from the Dana Point Harbor, The Strands and the Headlands.

Monarch Bay Terrace

Located directly across Pacific Coast Highway from Monarch Bay, Monarch Bay Terrace spans the hillside overlooking Monarch Bay. Vantage points from Monarch Bay Terrace include views of Three Arch Bay, Dana Point Bluff, The Strands, Salt Creek Beach, the Headlands and even San Diego. The architecture often reflects the Mid-Century Modern style that was prevalent when the community was developed, although many homes in the popular neighborhood are currently being remodeled and updated to reflect current design trends. This community offers easy access to area shopping, restaurants and thoroughfares for commuting.  

Lantern District 

Located in Dana Point’s town center, the Lantern District area is in the process of an exciting transformation and revitalization. Filled with an interesting array of shops and restaurants, it is a vibrant community that is within walking distance of the Dana Point Harbor, The Strands, The Headlands, and local beaches. Walk or bike to dinner! Interestingly, the streets in the Lantern District are named after the different colored lanterns used by ships more than 200 years ago to advertise their fares when docked in the Dana Point harbor.

FUN FACTS: Incorporated in 1989, the City of Dana Point is named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815-1882), a Harvard-trained lawyer, seaman, and author of the classic sea journal, Two Years Before the Mast, which documents his voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California on the merchant ship, Pilgrim.

Adjacent to Dana Point is charming San Clemente, founded in 1925 by Ole Hanson as a planned real-estate development known as the “Spanish Village by the Sea.” The area is named for the offshore San Clemente Island, which was so designated by Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno to honor St. Clement.

The nearby Mission San Juan Capistrano, found in the City of San Juan Capistrano was permanently founded by Junipero Serra on November 1, 1776, as the seventh of 21 missions to be established in California by the Spanish.

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    Todd Davis