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Ocean Institute

Address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629
Phone Number: (949) 496-2274
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79%
Ranked #5 of 10 Attractions in Dana Point
Type: Educational Sites, Cultural
Owner description: The Ocean Institute is open to visitors on weekends, 10 am - 3 pm. Enjoy hundreds of marine animals...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Educational Sites, Cultural
Hours:
Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat - Sun 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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.

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63 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    38
    12
    7
    4
    2
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2014

Visited during a family vacation. Rather small facility. Staff were extremely helpful and full of interesting information that I enjoyed, but the teenagers were very bored. Best for adults or kids under 13.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
DANAPOINT
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2014

The Ocean Institute is a wonderful place to visit. It is fascinating for the whole family to learn and see all that our Ocean has to offer!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Dana Point, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2014

Kids will love all the hands on sea life displays and activities! Check to see if/when they are sailing an old fashioned tall masted schooner

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Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
14 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2014

Limited exhibits, but wonderful staff and volunteers. Great place to learn about the ocean life just outside its doors.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Dana Point, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2014

This is a must for short people and tall people visiting the harbor. An abundance of live local ocean specimens that are for viewing and there are docents there to explain it all. most of the living species are displayed in user friendly tanks so all can see. There is an open tank of sea slugs, sea stars and mollusks... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Phoenix, Arizona
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

We had a great time walking out to the tide pools and visiting the aquarium. Lot's of things to see and explore, I would recommend this tour.

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Yorba Linda, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
19 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014

Came here during the Tall Ships festival -had a great time! Right by the ocean so you can rent a paddle board or kayak after exploring. Plenty of fun, educational activities all during the day. Explored the Tall Ships and saw pirate camps.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Verdi, Nevada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

The institute is located in Dana harbor and is adjacent to The Pilgrim" tall ship. Great place to take the kids. You are also close to the jetty and can show the family a coastal scene. The fee only applies to the Institute.

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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014 via mobile

For such a nice location, the museum is in such poor condition with few exhibits. It is surprising with the level of corp sponsors such as SDG&E, Toshiba, and Flour that this has been allowed to get so run down. Faded posters, dusty old exhibits, dirty tanks. Very disappointed. THe gift shop is however nice and they should be placed... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Crossville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

I've been to a few aquariums, this is small but very interactive for kids(and adults). Only open on the weekends. After touring the Institute go out back, the views of the ocean and cliffs were the best I saw all week.

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?