Dana Point Headlands Beach is located below the high crumbling cliffs of the Dana Point Headlands. This is a sandy beach covered with rocks and boulders that has excellent tide pools to explore at low tides. Even though there is development all around, this beach feels very remote.
The access to Dana Headlands Beach is behind the Ocean Institute on Dana Point Harbor. Drive to the very end of the harbor road and park near the Dana Point Pier and the Pilgrim Ship replica, then walk past the Institute and cross over the jetty rock pile on a short covered stairway. The beach is not a long walk from wherever you parked.
If you are willing to walk on rocks, you could venture west away from the sandy areas to where a home hangs over the cliff on the route to Dana Point proper. From there it’s possible to walk on the rocks and ledges over to Dana Strand Beach. Along this route you’ll find the Dana Point Caves to explore, but go at low tide to stay dry and be safe.
A better hike is nearby on top of the headlands where the Bluff Trail starts at the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Center. To get to this trail, drive up Cove Road from the pier parking lot, then turn left and drive Green Lantern to the end.
24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive Dana Point, CA 92629
Dana Point Headlands Conservation Park, Headlands Nature Park, Dana Point Marine Conservation Area, Dana Point Preserve, Hilltop Conservation Park
California Coastal National Monument was originally created to protect the many islands, rocks, pinnacles, and exposed reefs that had not been appropriated or reserved in other ways. This includes over […]