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Ocean Institute

24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 496-2274
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Ranked #5 of 13 Attractions in Dana Point
Type: Educational Sites
Owner description: The Ocean Institute is open to visitors on weekends, 10 am - 3 pm. Enjoy hundreds of marine animals in aquaria, ocean-themed exhibits and take a tour... more » Owner description: The Ocean Institute is open to visitors on weekends, 10 am - 3 pm. Enjoy hundreds of marine animals in aquaria, ocean-themed exhibits and take a tour of a tall ship. Take a tall ship or marine mammal (whale watching) cruise. « less
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52 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Clemente, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

Nice cultural spot near a nice family beach. They've recently expanded the museum with The Maddie James Seaside Learning Center.

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La Verne, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

The Ocean Institute is open to the public on weekends. I thought it would be a great place to take cousins, age 14 and 25, visiting from Missouri that wanted to see and learn about marine life. Boy was I mistaken. It is clearly geared for visits by groups during the week. There is not much to see or do... More

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Orange County, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

The Ocean Institute is geared toward schoolchildren, but it is delightful for any age. Very hands on and intimate. Check beforehand to determine if its open to the public, as schools and kids appear to take priority. Nice place in a pretty spot at the foot of the Headlands.

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2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

Our 24 students (ages 12-17) and 6 chaperones just finished up a three day educational adventure on The Ocean Institute's tall ship The Spirit of Dana Point. It was incredible! Our students swabbed the decks, polished the brass, learned sailing navigation, dissected a squid and a mackerel, observed squid at night, studied plankton, hauled roped to raise and lower the... More

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Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
23 attraction reviews
174 helpful votes 174 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

June 6-2014 Went to the Tide-pools, meet some lovely people, caves, we went to all 6 levels we saw everything from crabs to the orange starfish. Amazing sights, breath taking views, the caves are simply amazing in every way! Walk for miles when it's low tide. Worth coming!! We enjoyed our visit to this Gem! We like this tide-pool better... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Napa Valley, California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

Our little ones loved it. Note, this is not a large place, it's quite small but quite hands on. Our little ones got to touch Starfish and saw lots of Marine life, which they are fascinated with. It may take about 1hour to go through this but it's a great spot to check out. The staff were quite helpful and... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Golden, Colorado
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

We are a family about education, so I thought this was the place for us. We were on a vacation not as part of a field trip. We saw one really good 15 minute talk and that was it. Really not anything to see. I think this is more intended for field trips. Parking was a nightmare at 11am on... More

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Santa Ana, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 via mobile

Very rude guide made remarks as if he where better than everyone there. The kids did not have fun at all. He didn't make the smallest attempt to make the children feel welcome making them sit on the floors. Felt discriminated throughout field trip. Its worrisome that they hide these reviews posting their five stars. Btw everyone there was Caucasian... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Minnesota
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

We recently enjoyed a Marine Life cruise from here on a beautiful Sunday morning. The tour begins with a marine biologist on board explaining the history and marine life of the Dana Point Harbor area. Once out of the harbor, we saw many sea lions sunning themselves, then were treated to pods of dolphins entertaining us as our boat passed... More

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Newport Beach, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

excellent place to take children to learn about sea life as well as the tall sailing ships, very well done.

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