Stand Up Paddle Dana Point Harbor

Added by Scotti Shafer

Dana Point Harbor offers flat, calm water with an easy entry and exit point. This is a great full-body workout. If you make it out of the harbor, there are fun waves to surf, spectacular coastline to explore, and tons of wildlife to spot

Whether I’m looking for a quick workout on the water, wanting to catch some waves, or simply explore the coastline, Dana Point is one of my favorite places to paddle. There is plenty of parking close to the beach, so you don’t have to walk far with your board. It’s also a great spot to launch as there is a soft sand beach with flat water.

If you want to do a short and mellow paddle, I recommend paddling a loop around the harbor. It’s just under 2 miles of flat water paddling with great views of all the boats.

If you are looking to ride waves, Doheny Beach is just south of the harbor and is a well known small wave surf spot. When the surf is small, this spot is perfect for Stand Up Paddling and occasionally you can get the waves all to yourself (check the surf report before going and only plan on paddling here if the waves are <2ft). I don’t recommend paddling at Doheny during big swells as the line-up is usually crowded with longboards. If you are looking for a place to Stand Up Paddle in bigger surf, check out my post on San Onofre.

If you want to explore the coastline and check out the local ocean wildlife, there are 5+ miles of beautiful, more or less undeveloped coastline to the North of the harbor. Check out the underwater kelp forests below your feet as they are home to a variety of fish including the Garibaldi, which is the California State Fish. The seals and pelicans are usually sunbathing on the exposed rocks and buoys that are just off shore. Also keep an eye out for Dolphins as they can often be spotted swimming and playing just off shore.

If you need to rent boards, check out West Wind Sailing. Located at the dock just to the left of the launch beach. It is the most convenient spot as the boards don’t need to be transported to and from the beach. They are open 7 days a week from 10am-4pm and rent boards and kayaks for $25 an hour.

Read More

Tags

Stand Up Paddle
Fishing
Kayaking
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

🥇Top Contributor

2 months ago

Kayaking was awesome

We paddled this one and it was phenomenal. I'd go in the AM when its calm/little wind.

Admin

🥇Top Contributor

over 2 years ago

Slice of Heaven

The views you get of this coastline are incredible. You may even see a dolphin or a whale. Just try and go on the earlier side to avoid any wind.

Stay Nearby

Dana Point, California

Monarch Vista: Updated Retreat W/ Pool & Spa

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Situated in the desirable Ritz Pointe community, this ocean-view condo is a...

From $149/night

Dana Point, California

Capistrano Beach, Direct Oceanfront!

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •This 3BR/2BA oceanfront duplex enjoys a prestigious address on Beach Road. ...

From $616/night

Laguna Beach, California

Gated Beach Condo Sweeping Views Of Laguna Beach

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Enjoy outstanding ocean views from this 2BR/2BA condo in a gated community....

From $199/night

San Clemente, California

Ocean View Villa W/ Home Gym, Heated Pool & Spa

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •Custom-built to showcase panoramic ocean-to-city views, this luxurious 5BR/...

From $1,169/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Explore Tide Pools at Dana Point

    If you're ever driving on the 5 between San Diego and Los Angeles and traffic is miserable (always), consider making a stop at Dana Point to check out the tide pools. The best place is behind the Ocean Institute which offers plenty of free parking...

  • Walk the Dana Point Preserve Trail

    Ocean views the whole time, plenty of wildlife and different species of native plants make this short hike beautiful. With the hike being short enough to complete in the afternoon after a day at the beach you can see a beautiful view of the coastl...

    0.5 miles

  • Hike the Salt Creek Trail

    Starting from the Salt Creek Beach parking lot (a paid lot that takes cash, debit, and credit cards and charges by the hour. There are pay stations at a few points in the parking lots), you head west towards the ocean...through a tunnel and down t...

    3 miles 20 ft gain

  • Surf Salt Creek

    There are two HUGE parking lots off of PCH, so parking isn't an issue (unless it's on a weekend in the summer, then it does get full). This is a paid lot with a few pay stations located around the parking lot, and they take cash and credit/ debit ...