Dana Point is a city located in southern Orange County, California. The population was 33,351 at the 2010 census. It has one of the few harbors along the Orange County coast, and with ready access via State Route 1, it is a popular local destination for surfing.
The city was named after the headland of Dana Point, which was in turn named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of Two Years Before the Mast, which included a description of the area. Dana described the locale, including neighboring San Juan Capistrano, as “the only romantic spot on the coast”. Although Dana described the anchorage as poor, it is now a developed harbor and contains a replica of his ship, the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim is used as a classroom by the Ocean Institute, which is located at the harbor. This area is designated California Historical Landmark #189.
Dana Point has held a Festival of Whales since 1972. This celebration is held over two weekends in March.
The Tall Ships Festival is held in September. It is considered the largest annual gathering of its kind on the West Coast of the United States.
The city is served by Capistrano Unified School District. It includes Dana Hills High School, one of the oldest high schools in the area which opened in 1972.Dana Hills High School contains recently one of the nations strongest High School Cross Country program, winning California state titles in 1988,2007,2008,2009.