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Old 05-01-2013, 10:51 PM   #1
ShelsGoingToDisney
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Anyone live near Dana Point, California?

We are taking a family vacation to CA at the end of May. We are renting a house on the beach in Dana Point, CA for the first few days before we head to Disneyland. I have done lots of google reading but I'd love to hear some tips from people who actually live around Dana Point. Good restaurants? Fun, unique things to do? It'll be my husband, me, and my 3 kids, (DS13), (DD10), & (DS8).

Also I was wondering if there will be seals around the beaches? Are they there year round or only at certain times of the year? I can't seem to find this info on google. We've spent lots of time on FL beaches but this will be the first to the West Coast and seals would be something totally new and different to see!

Any tips or advice would be much appreciated!
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:59 PM   #2
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WHALE WATCHING!!!!!! Do it ~

Lately, the whale watching off of Dana Point is absolutely unbelieveable!

Google Whale Watching Dana Point. There have numerous articles in our local paper lately (Orange County Register). Mating, whale pups playing, a dolphin carrying a deceased pup on it's back (I know that sounds awful, but it was never seen before)...unbelievable! I've never read so many articles from these boat operators that they have never ever seen this activity before.

Check it out There are lots of YOUTUBE videos too.

Move your way to San Clemente Pier - Fisherman's Restaurant is there. Your kids would love Newport Beach!! Do a lil harbor cruise and eat at Joe's Crab Shack.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
ShelsGoingToDisney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzieDuster View Post
WHALE WATCHING!!!!!! Do it ~

Lately, the whale watching off of Dana Point is absolutely unbelieveable!

Google Whale Watching Dana Point. There have numerous articles in our local paper lately (Orange County Register). Mating, whale pups playing, a dolphin carrying a deceased pup on it's back (I know that sounds awful, but it was never seen before)...unbelievable! I've never read so many articles from these boat operators that they have never ever seen this activity before.

Check it out There are lots of YOUTUBE videos too.

Move your way to San Clemente Pier - Fisherman's Restaurant is there. Your kids would love Newport Beach!! Do a lil harbor cruise and eat at Joe's Crab Shack.
Really? From everything I've read it appeared that Whale watching season would be well over by the end of May. Our house will be very close to the Dana Point Harbor so we may go down and check out a whale watching cruise if there are still whales!
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelsGoingToDisney View Post

Really? From everything I've read it appeared that Whale watching season would be well over by the end of May. Our house will be very close to the Dana Point Harbor so we may go down and check out a whale watching cruise if there are still whales!
That is correct for the gray whale season. It runs (typically) from December to April. In May you'd have to go on a trip that goes veryyyyyy far out to possibly get a glimpse at a different species, or you *might* catch a straggler but it's definitely not a guarantee.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:35 AM   #5
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Yup, okay....don't listen to a local...have a good trip It's going to be a gorgeous week end!!!!
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzieDuster View Post
Yup, okay....don't listen to a local...have a good trip It's going to be a gorgeous week end!!!!
Lol I'm not a local to Dana Point but I'm a local for SoCal, have a degree in Marine Biology, and I worked on a WHALE-WATCHING BOAT for Scripps. As I said, the season for grays will be over. You have a chance to see another species but you'll probably have to go out much farther and it's not as likely.

ETA: Some people like "sure things". Others are ok with just going on a boat and being on the water and seeing nature even if it doesn't include whales. I've had to do a lot of damage control on days when no whales were seen. Just wanted the OP to know that they are not going during gray season, which is what SoCal is known for in the winter and early spring.

Last edited by sonnyjane; 05-02-2013 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:10 AM   #7
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I don't live there but we visit Dana Point every year and stay at the Marriott Laguna Cliffs. Beautiful area!!!!

We usually take a whale watching tour - Captain Dave's is awesome and you can follow his adventures on Facebook. We always eat at El Torito for some reason and shop along the Dana Point Harbor. You can take a fairly short and simple drive down to the San Diego Zoo, which is a wonderful place. And also go to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Newport Beach!!! You'll have a great time.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:31 AM   #8
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Subscribing for more hints....

Not a local, but we stayed at the Blue Lantern in Dana Point a couple of years ago. We LOVED it! Can't wait to go back!

After our Dana Point stay, we checked into the Grand Californian at Disneyland. Great trip!
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:27 PM   #9
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Just a thought, you might want to also post this on the Disneyland section of the boards. There are a few locals that post there regularly.

I've never stayed in Dana Point, but yes, whale watching season is over by the end of May.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:56 PM   #10
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You might not see whales but you will see dolphins swimming along the side of the boat.

Restaurants: Wind and Sea, Genkai

Nick's or South of Nick's both in San Clemente

You should try eating breakfast at Ramos House in San Juan Capistrano


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Old 05-02-2013, 03:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzieDuster View Post
Yup, okay....don't listen to a local...have a good trip It's going to be a gorgeous week end!!!!
I think maybe you misunderstood when I was going. I am not going to be there this weekend, I won't be arriving until May 22 (end of May). That is why I was thinking the whale season would be well over based on the reading I have done through googling.


What about seals will they still be around? Are they there year round or only certain times of the year? I was thinking of maybe driving down to La Jolla thinking maybe a better chance of seeing them there????

Thanks to everyone for the information and tips!
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:51 PM   #12
Mary Jo
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Things I would recommend based on your location:
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelsGoingToDisney View Post

I think maybe you misunderstood when I was going. I am not going to be there this weekend, I won't be arriving until May 22 (end of May). That is why I was thinking the whale season would be well over based on the reading I have done through googling.

What about seals will they still be around? Are they there year round or only certain times of the year? I was thinking of maybe driving down to La Jolla thinking maybe a better chance of seeing them there????

Thanks to everyone for the information and tips!
The seals live here year-round but La Jolla Cove is where I recommend you go if you want to see a lot of them. I'm on my phone so can't link but google "La Jolla Harbor Seal Webcam" and see them!!!
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:44 PM   #14
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The seals live here year-round but La Jolla Cove is where I recommend you go if you want to see a lot of them. I'm on my phone so can't link but google "La Jolla Harbor Seal Webcam" and see them!!!
Whoa! That is a LOT of seals!
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:24 PM   #15
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http://www.danawharf.com/whalewatch.html

Check the whale sightings here. I highly recommend them and plan on going out again this summer. Easy to find and parking was free.
They say gray whale season is over but the blue whales are starting to appear.

We went out in August and saw fin whales, blue whales and lots of dolphins. I enjoyed the 2 hour trip so much that we went again the following week.
There are sea lions just outside of the harbor.

If you have a Tuesday free it's half price trips. We ate at the place at the end of the pier overlooking the water. Food was pretty good. View was great with lots of paddle boards, boats and bird watching.
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