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Ocean Institute, Dana Point

(4/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web)
Ocean Institute is located in Dana Point. Plan to see Ocean Institute and other attractions that appeal to you using our Dana Point holiday planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Stopped here to check it out but didn't realize there was almost nothing to see or do and was charged $15 for our family of 3 and we were there for maybe 15 min. There was a fish tank with an eel and ...  more »
  • Very informative means of introducing children to facts regarding marine life and conditions, and protecting the environment without the hysteria of some of the better known agencies that promote ecol...  more »
  • I attended an evening food & wine fundraiser for a local HS in Dana Point. They space was great and it was not very cold considering its right next to the harbor. I would recommend this place as an ev...  more »
Google
  • So couple things: It's not a museum or aquarium, but rather a maritime education center, so they don't have a ton of tanks/exhibits. They do, however, have a number of interactive exhibits, plus a few tanks throughout the grounds that houses some neat local marine life - sharks, coral, etc. There is also a path on either side of the Insitute that leads to a really cool look-out point with benches and a jetty that you can walk along. It is free to the public and the institute generally has regularly scheduled tours throughout the day. It gets very busy during the week as they have lots of programs for children such as summer camps and sleepovers. Not all the exhibits are always available during the week as the campers have dibs on them! So best to call beforehand if you have something specific you want to see.. Everything is generally available on the weekends. They also maintain two tall ships (exact replica's of 1800's tall ships) and an exploration vessel that makes frequent departures (bio-luminescence evening cruises, whale watching cruises, etc.). Additionally, there is an annual fundraising raffle where you can win a million dollar laguna beach home - the tickets are $150 but they include a free individual membership with a single ticket and a free family membership with the purchase of more than one raffle ticket. There are also bonus prizes the earlier you buy your ticket, and you qualify for more prizes with purchasing more than 1 ticket. So definitely worth doing if your going to be buying a membership anyway. Finally, "Baby Beach" is right near the institute as well; which is a protected, netted, white-sand beach in the corner Dana Point Harbor that is great for young ones.
  • This was so fun. My girlfriend and I came here to check it out and have some fun. Very awesome. Grand and Leo were a great help to us, they knew a lot and showed us around. Very friendly people
  • Last year I went out on one of their boats. We saw a hump back whale Very impressive. The Institute itself offers such wonderful education for kids.
  • Great place to stop in for a few minutes. I felt like it would be nice to have more to see and learn there, but it's small and not meant to be a full day trip. Excellent learning center of you're strolling the area
  • i'm just 8 and i love it there it is too fun for little 6 year old brothers too ha ha going there today gonna be soooooo fun=)