Pages Navigation Menu

Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

Categories Navigation Menu

Dana Point Sea Caves

Guide to visiting the Dana Point Sea Caves

This summer is all about discovering the many sea caves along our beautiful coastline, and today we discovered the Dana Point Sea Caves. I have heard of these sea caves and had always wondered where they were located. Since I knew, they were somewhere around The Ocean Institute, the kids and I set out for the day to find out their exact location.

Dana Point Harbor

Dana Point Beach Behind Ocean Institute

Things we learned!
The sea caves are only accessible during low tide (check There is a “small” path to the sea caves, but you’ll want to make sure your kids are wearing water shoes or tennis shoes. My kids were in flip flops, and we had a lot of stubbed toes during our adventure. There is also not a lot of shade along the walk so bring a hat and apply plenty of sunscreen.

Beautiful Dana Point Waters

Beautiful Dana Point Waters

Narrow Path that leads to the Dana Point Sea Caves

Small narrow path that leads to the sea caves

Walking along the path towards the sea caves in Dana Point

Walking along the path towards the sea caves in Dana Point

Park in the parking lot surrounding The Ocean Institute. Most of the parking is free and easy to find a good spot on the weekdays.

Entering the large sea cave in Dana Point

Entering the large sea cave

Dana Point Tide Pools

The tide pools in Dana Point

Ocean Institute Tide Pools in Dana Point

Walk behind the ocean institute to the beach that backs the center. You’ll want to walk down the “caged” staircase and then make a right along the beach towards the rocks.

Orange County Sea Cave in Dana Point

Dana Point Sea Cave in Orange County

Inside one of the smaller sea caves

Happy Face Rock in Dana Point

Happy Face Rock

Explore! It will take you about 15 minutes (depending on the age of your kids and how much they are distracted by the beautiful rocks) to find the first cave. The first cave is the largest, and so much fun for the kids to explore.

Orange County Sea Cave at Dana Point Beach

The large sea cave

Exploring the Dana Point Tidepools

Exploring the tide pools

Lobster Cage found on Orange County Beach

Be careful of lobster cages w/ sharp edges found on rocks

We packed a small picnic lunch/blanket and had lunch inside of the sea cave. It was so relaxing for me as a mom to enjoy my lunch while the kids explored the cave, rocks, and tide pools. It is an ultimate win-win for moms.

Heart shaped rock in Dana Point, Orange County

The ocean is full of love

Beautiful Dana Point Beach Coastline

Climbing rocks in Dana Point

You can continue down the rocky path to find many more smaller sea caves and more tide pools. At the end of the path is a resident homeless man that lives in the last cave, and I don’t recommend going all the way to the end of the rocky path.

Dana Point Tide pools behind the Ocean Institute

Rocks and waves in Dana Point

Homeless man in sea cave in Orange County

Homeless man in last cave

Finally. End the day by letting your kids splash in the waves at the beach or build a sandcastle together. It is the perfect way to spend your summer day together with your kids in Orange County. You’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable day filled with many memories.

We will continue to search for more sea caves this keep reading the blog and follow our adventures on Instagram!

Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Connect With Us


  1. I just found your blog and it has been amazing to find natural local things to do in the oc, thanks!


  1. Hidden Orange County Waterfall Hike - Falls Canyon Falls - OC Mom Blog - […] life. Sea caves and waterfalls. Over the summer, we shared many different places to discover hidden sea caves, and…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *