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Dana Point Harbor, The Perfect SUP Destination

We attended a media trip as a guest of Dana Point

Many of us in Orange County take for granted the pure beauty of where we call home, including the vast activities that await us.  I am guilty of putting off stand up paddle boarding, something that I really wanted to try.  It wasn’t until I received an invitation that I made the time to take to the water, and I am glad I did.

I’m sure by now you’ve seen many people on the Coast of Southern California or in our own Dana Point Harbor, a perfect location for first timers, gliding through the water on a stand up paddle board wishing you were out there too.  I was excited to experience SUP (stand up paddle boarding) because of the calm waters Dana Point Harbor offers and the spectacular views.  My group was filled with a few “rookies”, like myself, and a few that have been on a SUP prior to this trip.  We were all from various ages groups and athletic abilities, yet we were all able to complete an hour with ease out in the harbor paddling through the water.


I found that the harbor was a fantastic place for stand up paddle boarding.  We were able to cruise by Baby Beach, stop by the sand bar adjacent to the Ocean Institute, paddle down the jetty to view sea life next to the rocks/buoy, quietly watch those enjoying the harbor restaurants and dream about being aboard the beautiful yachts docked within the harbor.   Whether with a group or paddling alone, this is a tranquil activity and location, not to be ignored by locals or missed by visitors.


Upon arrival, we were outfitted with equipment, received a lesson on how to paddle with ease through the water, instruction on boarding the SUP and how to stand up once on we were away from the dock / beach.  We also learned the important lesson of re-boarding if we were to fall or jump off the SUP.  Our instructor and the staff were kind, informative and gave confidence to those of us that hadn’t been out before at ease.  I think best advice I received was combating numb feet, this tip made me thankful I rented a board and received instruction prior to heading out for the first time.


Our paddle board rental was for an hour which was plenty of time to experience the harbor, see local sea life and to watch the boats returning from an ocean adventure.


There are many options, but when we decided to SUP in Dana Point Harbor, we wanted a company that offered easy access to the harbor and didn’t want to transport the rental boards ourselves and we found the OC Sailing and Events Center provided everything we needed.  The boards were next to the dock for easy boarding, plenty of space to park bikes or cars and affordable pricing.



It wasn’t until we arrived that we discovered all that the center offers.  We were pleased to find that the center is truly for the community and offers classes for people of all ages regardless of physical, developmental or economic limitations.  The programs have the reputation for enriching lives, building self esteem and empowering those that participate.  Some of the classes include: Mariner Sea Scouts and Junior Mariner Sea Scouts, Westwind sailing, I heart yoga in the park, The Paddle Academy, Dana Outrigger Canoe Club, Saddleback College Marie Science Technology and Jazzercise.

Also offered is an adaptive boating course and was developed to provide on-the-water therapy and to teach safety to those with special needs.  Prices are affordable and times are convenient.  There are also private and semi-private paddle board and kayak lessons, as well as, stand up paddle board fitness training.  The OC Sailing and Events Center, next to Baby Beach in Dana Point Harbor, has it all.  The harbor remains a popular travel destination for visitor and locals alike.  If you’re a local, come down to paddle with your family or friends and take in our Dana Point neighbor .  If you are visiting Dana Point, this is an accessible location by car from one of the local resorts or easy bike ride if staying at the Marriott Laguna Cliffs Resort and Spa.


I encourage you to experience the OC Sailing and Events Center, where you will find Westwind Paddle Board and Kayaking, in the Dana Point Harbor at 34451 Ensenada Place just next to Baby Beach.  To reserve equipment, schedule a class or to inquire about the limited number of scholarships available, call 949.492.3035.  Visit OC Sailing and Events Center online at  To see all that Dana Point Harbor has to offer, follow the harbor on Instagram and Twitter at #mydanapoint and on Facebook at

Wendy is a wife and mom of three that lives in Coto. She enjoys experiencing life through the eyes of her kids, party planning, exercising, and cooking.


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