Dana Point


Dana Point is a beautiful coastal city that boasts amazing views and a sense of community. Life in Dana Point is charming and quaint, as most of the residents have adopted a “beach living” attitude. The Dana Point Harbor is lined with an impressive display of boats, shops and restaurants that will meet your every need. When you live in Dana Point, you’re choosing a relaxing quality of life that you won’t ever want to leave!

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One of the most popular events in Dana Point is the Festival of Whales, which has been in existence since 1972. The Festival of Whales takes place over two separate weekends in March. The entire community comes together for the Festival of Whales, which is made up of a multitude of events such as a classic car show, beach cleanup, art showing, sand sculpting competition, whale watching and more! The city of Dana Point offers a free shuttle during the event, allowing visitors to park at any of the state beaches in the area and receive a free ride to the festivities.

Dana Point is also known for the Dana Point Grand Prix. The Dana Point Grand Prix is an annual bike race that takes place around Dana Point Harbor, Heritage Park and Pacific Coast Highway. Often, the Grand Prix brings in a large amount of visitors who come in to cheer in their loved ones as they race along the coast.

On Thanksgiving, the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce puts on a Turkey Trot, which is made up of a 5K race, a 10K race and a smaller race for children between the ages of 5 and 12. Over 10,000 runners attend this event every year, and more than 5,000 spectators come to watch and cheer on their loved ones. [/EXPAND]

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Dana Point is located in Orange County, California and can be accessed by State Route 1.  Dana Point is a coastal town with a harbor, and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the South and the West.  Laguna Niguel and San Juan Capistrano surround Dana Point to the North and East, respectively. [/expand]

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The official school district for the city of Dana Point is the Capistrano Unified School District. The Capistrano Unified School District is the twelfth largest school district in the state of California, and is made up of thirty-eight elementary schools, ten middle schools and six high schools.

Dana Hills High School is the main high school for the Dana Point community; this school is comprised of over three thousand students from the Dana Point neighborhood and surrounding areas.

Dana Elementary is the main elementary school for students in the Dana Point area. In terms of middle school, students will be placed into one of several different options in the neighboring areas of Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.
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Due to the agreeable weather on a daily basis and proximity to the beach, Dana Point is a very active community.

One of the most popular physical activities in the area is surfing. Dana Point is known for the surfing, as there are hundreds of incredible breaks along the coast every day. Other popular recreational activities include paddleboarding, kayaking, running, beach volleyball and tennis.

Dana Point currently has and maintains twenty-three parks for the residents of Dana Point. These parks make up eighty-two acres of developed parkland and include ten playgrounds, five dog-friendly zones, six outdoor restrooms and three thousand trees. Out of the twenty-three parks in Dana Point, eighteen parks have security lighting. Many of the Dana Point residents use the parks on a daily basis to walk, run, and stretch.

Dana Point is a city where it is very easy to walk around town. Many people find that they don’t even have to hop in their cars in order to get to the grocery store! Walking recreationally is popular in Dana Point, as citizens have the beautiful Dana Point Harbor to look at as they take a stroll. The Harbor is made up of the Marina, restaurants and shops and even has a special departure place for the Catalina Express.
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In Dana Point, the main attraction is the beach and all of the fantastic activities that come with living in a coastal city.  Surfing, kayaking and boating will bring visitors from all over the nation as they try to catch some sunshine in one of the most beautiful destinations in California.
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In the 1830s and 1840s, Dana Point was a thriving trading port specializing in hide trade. Many settlers would dock at the port while exploring other nearby areas such as San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Niguel.

The name Dana Point came from settler Richard Henry Dana, who anchored at the port in 1835 while journeying up the California coastline on a ship called The Pilgrim. Dana described the port as being the “only romantic spot on the coast” and deemed the area as being “poor.” Now, there is a replica of his ship, The Pilgrim, in the Dana Point Harbor. The Pilgrim replica is used by the Ocean Institute as a classroom and is California Historical Landmark #189.

In 1923, the director of the Pacific Electric Railway Company and a reputable Los Angeles Times publisher, General M.H. Sherman and Harry Chandler, formed a major real estate group. Reputable Los Angeles homebuilder Sidney H. Woodruff was hired in 1926 to lead a project that would eventually create the Dana Point Syndicate. Sherman, Chandler and Woodruff spent several months inviting affluent individuals such as movie producers and real estate investors to purchase land in the area.

Once he had enough purchased land, Woodruff spent the next few years building around thirty-five homes and several commercial buildings. The area had electricity, telephones, storm drains, sidewalks, and paved streets.

These thirty-five houses now make up an area in Dana Point known as Lantern Village. The streets are now named after different colored lanterns in the area, such as Blue Lantern and Violet Lantern.

Woodruff didn’t stop building with the thirty-five houses; he also started a new project in 1930 known as the Dana Point Inn. However, the Great Depression caused the construction to stop shortly thereafter, and the project was ultimately abandoned in 1939. Woodruff was forced to sell the leftover holdings of the Dana Point Syndicate and the city, as we know it today, started to emerge.