We visit California frequently and recently attended the Dana Point Festival of Whales. The four day getaway with our five year old daughter included a stay at two different hotels varying in price. We spent our final night in Dana Point at the Dana Point Marina Inn and enjoyed the ease of walking to the Dana Point Harbor for festival activities, dining, and entertainment.
We spent the first couple of nights during our visit to the Dana Point Festival of Whales at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. While we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the resort, I greatly appreciated the Dana Point Marina Inn’s location near the Dana Point Harbor. The hotel offers great ammenities and we enjoyed our stay in a harbor view room. The room was perfect for our busy weekend with walking distance to all of our planned activities.
While we weren’t busy walking around the harbor, whale watching, and enjoying the other events of the festival, we were playing in the hotel pool.
Although we didn’t take advantage of the bike rentals, our next visit will surely include the activity.
The Dana Point Harbor is directly next to the Marina Inn offering great dining and entertainment. During our visit we walked to Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching to learn whale watching tips from a captain.
A quick 10 minute walk will get you to Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari. My daughter’s very first whale watching trip was amazing and we saw many different animals including sea lions, a gray whale, and dolphins. The underwater viewing pods gave us a unique eye to eye experience with dolphins.
The Ocean Institute is less than a mile away with a scenic walking route along the harbor and beach. Spend an afternoon exploring the science center, learning about tallships on the Whale’s Tail sailing adventure, or taking a guided interactive tide pool hike.
Or you could simply relax in your room with great views of the Dana Point Harbor.
If you’re planning a family vacation to Dana Point, be sure to read my tips for whale watching with children.
The Dana Point Marina Inn has rooms to accomodate larger families too. The suites include a king bed and living room with dining area, fireplace, queen pull-out and full kitchen with microwave. Whether it’s a week long vacation or just a quick weekend getaway, the affordable rates makes it easy to enjoy time away in the beautiful California beach town.
What will you do during your next visit to Dana Point?
Disclosure: My family was invited to attend the Dana Point Festival of Whales and were assisted in making all activity and accommodation reservations. Complimentary hotel accommodations were provided by the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and Dana Point Marina Inn. We received a complimentary whale watching tour from Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari. The Ocean Institute provided complimentary tickets to the Whale’s Tail Sailing adventure, the guided interactive tide pool hike, and admission to the science center. Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching arranged my daughter’s interview with Captain Tom and sent her home with two new stuffed animal friends, a gray whale she named Drea and a sea lion she calls Coocoo. All opinions are entirely my own.