Dana Point

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Dana Point is a city located in southern Orange County, California. The population was 33,351 at the 2010 census. It has one of the few harbors along the Orange County coast, and with ready access via State Route 1, it is a popular local destination for surfing.

The city was named after the headland of Dana Point, which was in turn named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of Two Years Before the Mast, which included a description of the area. Dana described the locale, including neighboring San Juan Capistrano, as “the only romantic spot on the coast”. Although Dana described the anchorage as poor, it is now a developed harbor and contains a replica of his ship, the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim is used as a classroom by the Ocean Institute, which is located at the harbor. This area is designated California Historical Landmark #189.

The harbor, built in the 1960s and dedicated on July 31, 1971, is home to a marina, shops, and restaurants, and is a point of departure for the Catalina Express, a transportation service to and from the City of Avalon on Catalina Island. The entire harbor of Dana Point, including the Embarcadero Marina shops and restaurants, are set for complete demolition and redevelopment. The current vintage nautical style is being abandoned for a Tech Minimalist concept using metal roofs as well as Minimalist landscaping.

Dana Point Homes

Living in Dana Point

Dana Point was a popular port for ships involved with the hide trade with nearby Mission San Juan Capistrano. Trading reached its peak in the 1830s and 1840s. In 1818, Argentine sailor Hippolyte de Bouchard anchored there while conducting his raid on the mission. Richard Henry Dana then visited the area in 1835 while serving aboard the sailing brig Pilgrim on her voyage along the California coastline.

In 1923, Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler and General M. H. Sherman, director of the Pacific Electric Railway Company, created a major real estate group to develop what is known today as the Hollywood Hills. Sidney H. Woodruff, already a prominent Los Angeles homebuilder, was hired to lead the project.

In 1926, Woodruff, Chandler, and Sherman created the Dana Point Syndicate. They invited other investors, company presidents, movie producers, and real estate investors to join them in purchasing 1,388 acres (5.6 km2) of land, some of which includes the “Headlands” of today. Promising tree-lined and paved streets, electricity, telephones, sidewalks, water mains, storm drains, sewers, and other amenities, Woodruff built 35 homes and a number of commercial buildings.

Most of these “Woodruff” houses are concentrated in the Dana Point historic core, also called Lantern Village (currently about 12,000 residents). The streets are named after different colored lanterns—Street of the Violet Lantern, Blue Lantern, etc.—because colored lanterns were used by ships 200 years ago to advertise their fares when in the Dana Point natural harbor. His crowning structure was to be the Dana Point Inn, a Mediterranean-like resort hotel on the cliffs overlooking the harbor. After a celebratory groundbreaking in 1930, a three-story foundation was poured and a 135-foot (41 m) shaft was dug for an elevator to transport hotel guests to and from the beach. The economic downturn of the Great Depression caused construction to halt, however. Although Woodruff continuously sought financial support through the years, this project was abandoned in 1939. Subsequently, he sold the remaining holdings of the Dana Point Syndicate. Thirty-four of the original Woodruff residences are still occupied.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.5 square miles. 6.5 square miles of it is land and 23.0 square miles of it is water.

The Dana Point headlands are a prominent feature in Orange County geography and after years of controversy, are currently being developed as a 118-house gated community, however 68 acres (280,000 m2) of the site is open to the public and features a nature center and walking trails exhibiting “lost” plants of the Southern California coast. Views on a clear day extend to Catalina Island and La Jolla in San Diego County. link Dana Point Headlands

The city is located 59 miles southeast of Los Angeles, and 65 miles northwest of San Diego. Dana Point is bordered by San Clemente to the southeast, San Juan Capistrano to the northeast, Laguna Beach to the northwest, and Laguna Niguel to the north.

Climate
Dana Point enjoys a mild climate with temperatures that tend to average around the 70s. The warmest month of the year is August with an average maximum temperature of 79°F. The coldest month is December with an average maximum temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.[citation needed] Frost is extremely rare, allowing for a year-round growing season. Annual rainfall (with almost all of it falling between November and March) is about 12 inches but is highly variable from year to year.

The Strand
The Strands at Headlands is a luxury housing development built on land that was originally part of the Chandler Family holdings. For decades the land facing the beach was home to the Dana Strand Beach and Tennis Club, a mobile home community that closed in the late 1980s. For years, access to the Strands beach was limited to hiking down a dirt trail where the mobile homes had stood. The Strands parcel included the actual headlands and bluff of Dana Point as well and was one of the last large coast properties available for development along the Orange County Coast. During the course of a ten-year approval process, the original high-density plan, which included a large multi-story hotel on the bluff top and hundreds of houses and multi-family units, was reduced in scope to just over 100 home sites. As part of negotiations with the California Coastal Commission, the developer agreed to turn the bluff into a nature preserve and build over $11 million worth of public improvements to provide easier access to the Strands Beach. The improvements include stairs, restrooms, a beach-front sidewalk and a funicular to transport visitors from the parking lot to the beach. After extensive infrastructure construction, lots were offered for sale in the fall of 2006. Lots in the development are rectangular with modern houses commonly priced above $10,000,000. The development has provided much easier access to the beach below and has allowed surfers and other beach visitors to access the beach quickly and easily. Strands Homeowners, through a Mello-Roos assessment, pay for the upkeep of the beach improvements.

Capistrano Beach
In 1928, a corporate entity of the American industrial giant Edward Doheny, who had built his fortune in oil production in Southern California and Mexico, purchased a number of lots in Capistrano Beach. Doheny’s son, Ned, formed a development company, the Capistrano Beach Company, which included his wife’s twin brothers, Clark and Warren Smith, and Luther Eldridge, a contractor, to build a community of Spanish style houses. According to Dana Point historians Baum and Burnes,* Eldridge favored two dominant characteristics in his homes, a typically Spanish roofline and the use of large ceiling beams in the main rooms of the houses. The roofline, covered with red ceramic tiles, incorporated a low-pitched gable, spreading out to one short and one long roof. The ceiling beams were decorated with stenciled artwork painted by artist Alex Meston. Eldridge was able to complete the original Doheny family house on the bluffs, four houses on the beach, and 18 other homes scattered throughout the area before tragedy struck the ambitious project. Edward Doheny was preparing for his criminal trial for bribery in the Teapot Dome Scandal, and on February 16, 1929, Ned Doheny and Hugh Plunkett, his friend and secretary, who were to testify in the trial, were killed in a murder that still remains unsolved. In 1931, as a memorial to Ned, Petroleum Securities Company, Doheny’s family-owned business, made a gift of 41.4 acres (168,000 m2) to the State of California, which is now Doheny State Beach. The unimproved Capistrano Beach properties passed back to Edward Doheny, and, upon his death in 1935, to his wife and heirs. By 1944, all of the properties had been sold to private parties.

The Doheny family also funded the building of what was then called St. Edward’s Chapel in Capistrano Beach. The chapel soon grew, received canonical status as a parish, and moved to its current bluff-top location in Dana Point, overlooking Doheny State Beach.

Surfing
Richard Henry Dana (the author of “Two Years Before the Mast”) considered the high bluffs and sheltered coves of this area of Southern California to be the most beautiful spot on the California coast. Pioneering surfers agreed as they surfed the many beach breaks along the coast. Dana Point had a notable surfing history, and was home to many of the first companies that produced products for surfing. Hobie Alter opened the world’s first retail surf shop in Dana Point in 1954. Many surf publications such as the Surfer’s Journal and Surfer Magazine were formed and headquartered in Dana Point. Bruce Brown produced the iconic surfer film Endless Summer in Dana Point.

“Killer Dana” was a legendary surf break off Dana Point. The surf break was notorious because it came out of deep water and broke close to the rocks that lined the beach. The Killer Dana wave was destroyed when the Dana Point Harbor was built in 1966. A breakwater now cuts right through the heart of the once epic surf spot. In 1997, the surf group The Chantays recorded an instrumental track named “Killer Dana”.

Dana Point has held a Festival of Whales since 1972. This celebration is held over two weekends in March.

The Tall Ships Festival is held in September. It is considered the largest annual gathering of its kind on the West Coast of the United States.

Dana Point has hosted the Dana Point Concours d’Elegance since 2008. The event is located on the Monarch Beach Golf Links and supports various charities.

The Dana Point Grand Prix is an annual criterium bike race overlooking Dana Point Harbor. The course winds its way through downtown Dana Point into Heritage Park and the adjoining residential community with ocean views for participants and spectators before finishing on a long straightaway on PCH.

The Dana Point Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Turkey Trot, which includes a 5K, 10K and Kids’ Gobble Wobble race for ages 5–12, which was voted as a top destination for Thanksgiving by Fodor’s Magazine. This event attracts more than 10,000 runners throughout the country and another 5,000 family and friends.

The Dana Point Symphony presents classical music concerts with a 50-piece orchestra and local and international soloists.

One of the very few known specimens of the megamouth shark was caught off Dana Point in 1990. Visitors can visit the Ocean Institute at the harbor below the point and the tidal pools located nearby for a close-up view of marine life during low tide. With the kelp beds located just offshore, Dana Point is a popular destination for snorkelers, fisherman, and spearfishers. Juvenile great white sharks sometimes congregate in the area, but are rarely a threat to humans, mostly feeding on fish. The high cliffs at Dana Point are popular for scanning the horizon for whales, dolphins and other marine life.
The city is served by Capistrano Unified School District. It includes Dana Hills High School, one of the oldest high schools in the area, which opened in 1972. The cross country program at Dana Hills High School won California state titles in 1988, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Fire protection in Dana Point is provided by the Orange County Fire Authority with ambulance service by Doctor’s Ambulance. Law enforcement is provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Year-round marine safety services are provided by (U.S. Ocean Safety Lifeguards) now called O C lifeguards, on the county beaches, and California state lifeguards on the state beaches.
Dana Point is served by two newspapers, the Dana Point News (owned by the Orange County Register) and the Dana Point Times. Both papers run once weekly.

The Laguna Niguel-Dana Point Patch is an online-only news website that also serves Dana Point along with its neighbor, Laguna Niguel.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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Nearby Businesses

Dining

Maison Cafe & Market 4.5 star rating 853 reviews
34320 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 218-8431

Eden 4.5 star rating 225 reviews
32860 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 503-2163

Giana Bakery and Provisions 4.5 star rating 141 reviews
34146 CA-1
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 503-1994

Vibe Organic Kitchen & Juice 4.5 star rating 300 reviews
34255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 259-5514

Knights Shawarma 4.5 star rating 104 reviews
34255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Ste 103
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 545-7045

Salt Creek Grille 4.5 star rating 2295 reviews
32802 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 661-7799

Brio Tuscany Grille 4.5 star rating 844 reviews
24050 Camino Del Avion
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 443-1476

Bourbon Steak Orange County 4.5 star rating 330 reviews
1 Monarch Beach Resort
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 234-3900

Nightlife

Full Moon Drum Circle 5.0 star rating 14 reviews
31131 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Aliso Beach
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 922-7729

Five Vines Wine Bar 4.5 star rating 472 reviews
31761 Camino Capistrano
Ste 11
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 800-9145

The BrewHouse 4.5 star rating 262 reviews
31896 Plaza Dr
Ste D3
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 481-6181

Paddy's Station 4.5 star rating 150 reviews
26701 Verdugo St
Ste B
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 661-3400

Brio Tuscany Grille 4.5 star rating 844 reviews
24050 Camino Del Avion
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 443-1476

StillWater Spirits & Sounds 4.0 star rating 808 reviews
24701 Del Prado
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 661-6003

Whitestone Restaurant & Bar 4.0 star rating 255 reviews
34212 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 489-8911

Sunsets Bar 4.0 star rating 299 reviews
34700 Pacific Coast Hwy
Capistrano Beach, CA 92624

(949) 276-8880

Shopping

Art Sea 5.0 star rating 8 reviews
34503 Golden Lantern St
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 240-2321

Meesh Boutique 5.0 star rating 44 reviews
32880 Pacific Coast Hwy
Ste 32
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 793-7726

Woody Hut 5.0 star rating 21 reviews
34493 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 443-1072

HiveXO 5.0 star rating 80 reviews
2 Ritz Carlton Dr
Ste 104
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 289-0214

The Black Lantern 5.0 star rating 54 reviews
24302 Del Prado Ave
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 429-7433

Las Catrinas, SJC 5.0 star rating 18 reviews
31742 Los Rios St
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 441-7182

Casa De Kathy Thriftstore 4.5 star rating 36 reviews
31901 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 240-8830

Killer Dana Surf Shop 4.5 star rating 68 reviews
24621 Del Prado
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 489-8380

Coffee

HiveXO 5.0 star rating 80 reviews
2 Ritz Carlton Dr
Ste 104
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 289-0214

JD Flannel Donuts and Coffee 5.0 star rating 773 reviews
31878 Del Obispo St
Ste 122
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 218-4483

Tim Is Making Great Coffee 5.0 star rating 447 reviews
31431 Rancho Viejo Rd
Ste 101
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 332-9626

Rosetta Coffee Brewing Company 4.5 star rating 425 reviews
34241 Doheny Park Rd
Doheny Village Carwash
Capistrano Beach, CA 92624

Maison Cafe & Market 4.5 star rating 853 reviews
34320 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 218-8431

Giana Bakery and Provisions 4.5 star rating 141 reviews
34146 CA-1
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 503-1994

South Swell Donuts 4.5 star rating 91 reviews
31660 Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

(949) 499-6171

Vibe Organic Kitchen & Juice 4.5 star rating 300 reviews
34255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 259-5514

Gyms

Fitness Together - Dana Point 5.0 star rating 13 reviews
34255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Ste 107
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 488-0005

Beach Cities Fitness 5.0 star rating 38 reviews
34198 Pacific Coast Hwy
Ste B
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 342-5139

F45 Training Dana Point 5.0 star rating 13 reviews
34255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Ste 111
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 326-2221

OrangeTheory Fitness - Dana Point 5.0 star rating 40 reviews
24040 Camino Del Avion
Space 2A
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 617-2717

Squish Gym 5.0 star rating 13 reviews
27184 Ortega Hwy
Ste 108
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 257-2384

A1 Nutrifitness 5.0 star rating 9 reviews
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 228-5556

Konversion Fit 5.0 star rating 8 reviews
31742 Rancho Viejo Rd
Ste D
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 683-5232

Dharma Yoga House 5.0 star rating 25 reviews
Dana Point, CA 92629

Salons

Bowhead Salon 5.0 star rating 56 reviews
380 Camino De Estrella
San Clemente, CA 92672

(949) 303-9599

Paragon Salon 5.0 star rating 7 reviews
34161 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 489-1955

Skin Diva Day Spa 5.0 star rating 27 reviews
34262 Blue Lantern St
Ste B
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 701-3595

Spa At the Mission 5.0 star rating 7 reviews
31692 El Camino Real
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 503-5713

Dawnielle Jonene Salon 5.0 star rating 29 reviews
24691 Del Prado
Ste 101
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 240-5171

Salon Revelation 5.0 star rating 157 reviews
34052 La Plz
Ste 102
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 248-8595

Coast Medical Aesthetics 5.0 star rating 49 reviews
24981 Dana Point Harbor Dr
Ste E125
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 493-1900

The District Salon 5.0 star rating 55 reviews
34161 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

(949) 248-3406