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Doheny Beach Butterfly Garden & Nature Center

We stayed as a guest of the resort

I have spent many summer days with my children at Doheny Beach, and I never realized that they have a beautiful butterfly garden until a recent family staycation at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach. When I checked into the resort for the weekend, the front desk was so helpful with making some recommendations of things to do in the area, and when she mentioned the butterfly garden, I knew that I wanted to bring the kids to see it.

Our family woke up on Saturday morning, had a relaxing breakfast in bed, and then walked across the street to Doheny Beach. At first, we had a little bit of trouble finding the butterfly garden, but a nice lady walking working at the State Beach advised us that it was located by the front gate where cars enter.

When we first arrived, we began by walking around the nature center. A volunteer greeted our family and took the time to educate our children on the different items in the nature center. My children learned fun facts like perfume is made with whale vomit and more. There was a small touch pool where our children could touch different sealife that can be found in the tidepools and some fish swimming in aquariums to admire.

Once we were done exploring the nature center, we walked behind the building to discover a butterfly garden. The beautiful garden has lush foliage and flowers with butterflies floating in the air. There was a small path that we walked along while admiring the gorgeous nature and took a moment to rest on one of the many benches. There were a couple of picnic benches that are perfect for families who bring a picnic lunch.

After we finished exploring the butterfly garden, we went to spend the afternoon sailing in Dana Point Harbor. I plan to return to the butterfly garden again with my children this summer and have lunch in the garden. If your children love nature, they will enjoy every minute exploring this butterfly garden and the Doheny Beach nature center.

Parking is $2.oo per vehicle per hour metered parking in the main parking lot or $15.00 per vehicle (normal day-use fee). It is located at 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629.

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  1. This is perfect! We are heading down to Dana Point this weekend for whale watching and was wondering what to do afterward!

  2. OMG we are there twice a week for sand volleyball practice and had no idea this existed!!! Definitely going to go check it out! Do we walk back to where the guard gate/cars enters to get there? I can’t even picture where this is?

    • It is right by the guard gate when you enter. After passing the gate, immediately look to your left (away from the beach) and you’ll see it. =) have fun!

  3. Your pictures are beautiful! I lived here all my life and never knew! I need to go!

    • Have fun!! I recommend bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy in the garden with your kiddos

  4. Do you have to stay or be camping on the state beach to have access to the garden/ nature center? I have never been and would appreciate the feed back ty

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