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Dana Point Harbor Celebrates Whale Watching Season

49th Annual Festival of Whales, whale watching excursions, educational programs and more in the “Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World®”

Photo courtesy of Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari  

Known as the “Dolphin & Whale Watching Capital of the World®,” Dana Point welcomes the greatest concentration of blue whales and dolphins on earth and offers the best year-round whale watching opportunities. Dana Point Harbor is the ideal location for whale watching with quick and easy access to open ocean and unobstructed views, giving whale watchers a sense of pristine and spectacular encounters.

Whale watching tours at the Harbor are offered on several different types of boats, from sail to power, large to small, and everything in between. Dolphin and whale watching tours are offered every day, all year long with year-round whale sightings including blue whales, fin whales, gray whales, humpback whales, and minke whales. Boaters from across the California coast are encouraged to visit the Harbor by boat and can reserve a guest slip at The Marina at Dana Point to experience Dana Point’s one of a kind whale watching season. Contact The Marina at Dana Point Office at (949) 496-6137 for more information. 

The public can join Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari for 5-star tours featuring underwater viewing pods, fast & fun zodiac, and more. Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching is Orange County’s first whale watching company and all cruises are narrated by an expert marine naturalist captain who will educate on the abundant ocean life on the coast.

Dana Point Harbor welcomes the 49th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales, March 7-8 and 14-15 paying tribute to the annual migration of California gray whales past Dana Point. The Festival of Whales Parade kicks off the two-weekend celebration on Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. and for the first time will travel through the Harbor, beginning at the island side of Island Way and ending at Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor Drive. In addition to the opening parade, activities and events are hosted during the festival that include a street fair, arts and craft shows and sales, classic car exhibits, stand-up paddling, sailing, sand sculpting, a cook-off competition, concerts on land and water, environmental education programs, kids activities, culinary delights, beer gardens, and whale watching excursions aboard a variety of vessels. To experience the full weekend of Festival of Whales, book a stay at the Dana Point Marina Inn, conveniently located in the harbor. Call 1-800-255-6843 for rates and additional information.

Pet Project Foundation will be hosting a new event for both two-legged and four-legged family members to enjoy. On Saturday, March 7 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. outside The Brig Restaurant, sniff, schmooze and sip craft beer at Pet Project Foundation’s “Whales, Tails, and Ales.” Event highlights include delicious eats, family fun and inflatables, a dog costume contest, opportunity drawings, and local artisan and dog-friendly vendors. Dogs on leashes are welcome and all proceeds benefit Pet Project Foundation and the lost and abandoned pets at the San Clemente-Dana Point Animal Shelter.

Join iHeartYoga for the inaugural “Wisdom of the Whale” meditation workshop on Saturday, March 7 from 7 – 9 p.m. Relaxation specialist, Alan Hostetter will lead participants on a transcendental ocean journey in celebration of the beautiful Pacific Ocean and great migrating friends. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets. 

Experience the height of whale watching season and enjoy Dana Point Harbor’s abundant and diverse marine life year-round. For more information and to view the full list of events visit and

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