ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

SoCal Prime: Doheny State Park in Dana Point, CA

Updated on September 14, 2019

When most people envision Orange County California, usually the first thing that comes to mind is Laguna Beach, an upscale, high fashion crowned jewel of the Pacific Coast in which movie stars reside and hit TV reality shows are born. Laguna is without a doubt a prime example of SoCal's finest, an aesthetically pleasing physical location and attractive destination where celluloid celebs can be seen, encountered, and candidly photographed as they stroll down the sidewalks while shopping and perusing the world famous boutiques, and dining on exquisite cuisine prepared by top notch chefs. All this is irrefutably true, a cherished experience for the fortuitous visitor which can top off an incredibly fulfilling vacation or day trip, but just a short distance to the north, sits one of her lesser known, yet equally beautiful sisters, Doheny State Beach.

Donated by Edward L. Doheny in 1931, the venue is situated within the immaculately maintained Doheny State Park, a beautiful 62 acre swath of ocean side property conveniently located between Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar. Doheny is perfectly positioned to serve the community not only as an aesthetic enchantment, but as one of the areas most practical, all purpose "utility" beaches. Although the seaside wildlife is plentiful and the sands are cast unto the shoreline with an artists touch, it's not considered a "model" beach like others in the area, or a place to just photograph and admire from afar without disturbing the landscape. Doheny is a place where surfers can surf, campers can camp, and kids of all ages can roust about in the sand and waves until their hearts content. Just about any beach activity you can think of, can be pursued with great fervor, right here.

- Doheny Beach - Looking Inland -
- Doheny Beach - Looking Inland -

While the park is used for many different leisurely functions and exciting outdoor activities, it still somehow manages to maintain a relatively peaceful, and to a certain degree serene setting. The center of the park is where most of the activities like surfing, volleyball, and frisbee take place, but if you walk around the outskirts, you will discover small pockets of indigenous marine wildlife resting, eating, and even nesting in secluded micro sanctuaries. These random pockets of splendor consisting of naturally enriched soils, brush, greenery, and other essential organic ingredients, become more accessible and easily visible when the ocean recedes during low tide, and small salt water wading pools are unveiled. This precise point in time presents the perfect opportunity for artists and sight seers alike to observe and photograph this ebb and flow of Doheny delights without having to endure the mild inconvenience of encountering view impeding obstacles. These quiet, yet vibrantly active sanctuaries provide the perfect habitat within a conducive eco-system for local and migrating birds, and various species of smaller sized wildlife to congregate, rest, and bathe. A pit stop before taking flight and moving on to their next destination.

- Micro Wildlife Sanctuary - Birds Nesting -
- Micro Wildlife Sanctuary - Birds Nesting -

If you're a pet owner, you will be very pleased to learn that a seemingly fair balance has been struck regarding dogs. According to the official web site, they are allowed on the camp grounds and picnic area with a leash as requirement and they must be attended to at all times, but they are not allowed on the beach itself. So remember, if you plan on bringing your dog, please don't forget the leash to avoid an unnecessary inconvenience, or possibly even an event changing circumstance. When it's time to cool off, you can do so with confidence, there are lifeguard stations with a 360 degree view of the entire beach so you and the kids can swim or body surf with peace of mind knowing well trained rescue personal are constantly scanning the beach to ensure your safety and prevent any potential incidents or accidents.

I've been to the park on several occasions for recreational purposes and also to gather information to prepare this article, and after recalling my personal experiences I can say with great confidence there is something for just about everyone at Doheny Beach and the activity of your choice awaits, even if that activity is laser focused on simply pulling up a comfortable lounge chair with your feet dangling and splashing at the waters edge while soaking up the warm, golden California sunshine. Doheny is just an all around fun place to spend some quality time with friends or family, a fantastic day trip for Southern Californian's, and a therapeutically warm and cozy get away destination for out of state snowbirds.

- Doheny Beach - View From Micro Sanctuary -
- Doheny Beach - View From Micro Sanctuary -

Hours / Admission Fees / Parking

  • Open All Year - 7 Days A Week
  • Hours - 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Parking - Paid Only - Good Access
  • Admission Fees Vary

Park Info: 949-496-6171

Amenities / Things to do

  • Barbeque
  • Biking
  • Body Surfing
  • Camping ( Check Fee Schedule )
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Picnic Tables
  • Snack Bar
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Walking


<> Nearby Attractions / Overview <>

Doheny State Park & Beach is one of Orange County's premier locations and destinations for both Californians, and snowbirds from all over the world who wish to escape colder climates. A one mile stretch of picturesque Pacific Ocean which is typical SoCal, yet totally unique as all west coast beaches seem to be. It's also within a short drive or walking distance to some of SoCal's prime tourist attractions, shopping venues, and restaurants. Laguna Beach just to the south and Newport Beach to the north, both are home to a boutique lovers bonanza. If you're looking for a new set of silverware, hand made crafts, a work of art by your favorite or local painter, or even the most rare of antiques, chances are it can be found here. As an extra added attraction, if you're an avid people watcher or admirer of the celeb scene, the only other place on earth I can think of where there are more celebrities per square mile, is Beverly Hills. So if you didn't get the chance to rub elbows with or get that fleeting glimpse of a famous celebrity at the airport when you arrived, this wealth and celeb magnet of a place may present several opportunities to briefly chat with or shake the hand of your favorite television or movie star. It's not uncommon to walk into any one of a number of quaint shops and cross paths with a high profile personality, or famous athlete.

Mission San Juan Capistrano, a short drive to the south is another SoCal prime landmark which is well worth a visit. A place where beautiful indigenous botanical gardens grow throughout the grounds, architectural wonders abound, including alters and well preserved places of worship which are open to the public for a unique spiritual experience and momentary glimpse into the past. This historical site is a must see when visiting. If you plan your visit at just the right time in March, you may even get the universally envied chance to watch one of natures most incredible sights, the swallows instinctively returning home to their mission after a long arduous year of migration. The number of attractions and things to do in and around Doheny State Park are virtually infinite. In the future, I will publish several more informative articles which will document my personal perspective regarding the SoCal Prime Experience right here in the Golden State, and the entire West Coast. There really is nothing like it in the entire world, Orange County, the only place I've ever visited where near perfection in every way has nearly been achieved.

- Birds & Surfers in Harmony -
- Birds & Surfers in Harmony -


Doheny State Park

25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, Ca. 92629

*Adjacent to Laguna Beach on Pacific Coast Highway ( PCH )*

Doheny State Park

Doheny State Park:
25300 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629, USA

get directions

<> Conceived * Designed * Developed * Written * Created By Alternative Prime <>
<> Exclusive Original Images Created By Alternative Prime <>
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed the 1960's "Retro" flavor & feel to this article - It was a pleasure to capture such awe inspiring photographs of stunningly beautiful Orange County California in the technologically raging 21st Century, only to roll back the visual ambiance by using skillful electronic caressing - A sense of calm, a more relaxed ease of pace, please take a few moments to absorb modern images presented within the context of a sentimental time gone by.
Alternative Prime has lived in Orange County California for over three decades and has experienced just about everything this west coast paradise has to offer all of its fortunate residents, and eagerly enthusiastic visitors alike - From the sun drenched weather perfected beaches, to the snow capped majestic mountain ranges perched effortlessly above the gentle cloud cover to the north, to the exotic, mystically therapeutic & healing arid desert playgrounds situated to the northeast of the county - You are cordially invited to join Alternative Prime as we embark upon future exploration & documentation of this breathtakingly scenic Pacific Coast Wonder -

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)