Dana Point

Dana Point is home to beautiful views and incredible sunsets. This quiet beach town has wide and sandy beaches. Because it's not as well-known as neighboring Laguna Beach or Newport Beach, Dana Point tends to be less crowded -- perfect for those who prefer a "deserted" beach atmosphere. Swimming, surfing, Boogie boarding, dry land sports are popular activities.

Particularly great beach spots in this area include:

* Salt Creek Beach Park extends for more than a mile below coastal bluffs. This is a particularly gorgeous beach with broad expanses of sand. Public Restrooms are available. Surf fishing, Boogie boarding, and surfing are allowed. The shore is crowded near the beach entrance, so for a more secluded spot, you'll have to walk a few hundred yards to the north or south. Bring lots of quarters for the meters.

* Capistrano Beach Park is wide and sandy -- and great for swimming. Because it's less well known than others in the area, it tends not to be as crowded. The parking is decent, there are restrooms, showers, and beach equipment rentals are also available.

Visitors to this area will find a wide range of accommodations from which to choose. Some of the better options for families include:

Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel: This five-star, five-diamond property is a world-class resort in every respect. Built on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, the property offers 362 spacious rooms and 31 suites with beautiful views. Amenities include two miles of beach with watersports nearby, two pools, four tennis courts, a fitness center, golf and restaurants. The shuttle to the beach leaves every half-hour. California cuisine brings visions of summer salads, sandwiches, sushi and a frozen beverage in hand, each served with a wedge of green fruit, the avocado. From July 11 - 19, the Ritz will become an avocado-lovers paradise. For more information, call 714-240-2000.

Dana Point Inn: This property offers comfortable rooms with easy ocean access just across the highway. Request a room on the ocean side with views of the Pacific. This Inn is a casual and relaxing waterfront environment and a recreational paradise on the shores of beautiful, Mission Bay. The excitement of SeaWorld is next door and Mission Beach is just a short walk away. For more information, call (800) 326-2466.

Marriott Laguna Cliffs Resort: Marriott Laguna Cliffs Resort: This property, perched atop a hillside bluff overlooking the beach and the seaport village of Dana Point Harbor, offers captivating views of the Pacific Ocean. It is often considered one of the most romantic spots on the Californian coastline. With its quaint Victorian architecture, this resort keeps you close to the area's finest offerings: Laguna Beach; Mission San Juan Capistrano; and Catalina Island. For more information, call (800) 533-9748 or (949) 661-5000.

Capistrano Surfside Inn: Breathtaking Blue-Green Pacific Ocean Views and 62 acres of soft sand at Doheny State Park, this time-share property offers weekly summer rental units perfect for families. For more information, call central reservations at (800) 874-8770 or the resort at (949) 240-7681. Laguna Beach Rentals: Turn-Key Associates: For those seeking homes and condominiums for rent, this property management company provides information on available rentals in Dana Point and South Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 499-5721.

Turn-Key Associates: For those seeking homes and condominiums for rent, this agency provides information on available rentals in Dana Point and South Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 499-5721. Or visit them online at: Laguna Rentals.com

Families visiting the Dana Point area will enjoy visits to the Scoop Deck Ice Cream Shop, visiting nearby Mission San Juan Capistrano and the Orange County Marine Institute, and grabbing a seafood dinner at the Harbor Grill restaurant.

For more information contact the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce at 949-496-1555 or online: Dana Point Visitors Guide & Tourism Information

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