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Ocean Institute

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Address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629
Phone Number: (949) 496-2274
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Today
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Hours:
Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat - Sun 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Description: The Ocean Institute is open to visitors on weekends, 10 am - 3 pm. Enjoy...
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 76 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 44
    Excellent
  • 17
    Very good
  • 9
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Great Educational Experienceile

The Ocean Institute is one of the premier oceanographic locations on the coast. Especially good for children. Lots of tactile experiences and a wealth of info about local sea... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 1, 2015
3522

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76 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2015

I wish the volunteer outside would've told us it was closed to us and our two grandkids before we went in. Found out later it was only open to camps and groups M-F. The ticket person told us there was a limited area we could go in...but, we had no idea 'how small' that was. Not even worth the $5... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Level Contributor
54 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2015

The Ocean Institute is one of the premier oceanographic locations on the coast. Especially good for children. Lots of tactile experiences and a wealth of info about local sea life. A don't miss if you are going to Dana Point.

Was this review helpful? Yes
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2015

Anyone with children looking to visit the Ocean Institute during the week do not waste your time. The website is misleading and does not state that the majority of the experience including the hands on exhibits are closed to the public and limited to one kelp exhibit with your paid addmision on weekdays. The women at the front counter discourged... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
St. Thomas
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2015

Little did we know that every thought "nautical" could be so beautifully translated into a reasonably priced collection of artifacts, stand alone art pieces of every medium, and yes -- souvenirs. Don't miss it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Yorba Linda, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015

We visited in June with two young girls, they enjoyed it. During the week the tour is very basic. There were some children summer camps that may be interesting.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Trinity, Florida
Level Contributor
92 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015 via mobile

Don't miss this wonderful site. The entrance fee is minimal. It's a great way to learn about the area and the exhibits are worth the time..

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Ascot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2015

Interesting, quaint and delightful. I was amazed at how much our two year old grandson enjoyed it. Interesting for us but he seemed to discover his own favourites. Staff were superb.

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Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2015

The Ocean Institute offers two-hour sails on the Spirit of Dana Point. DO IT. Absolutely amazing to be on a replica of an 18th century ship, out at sea with the sails and ropes above you...they'll even yell at you (gently!) like you were a real sailor! Be ready to help put the sails up! They fire off the cannon... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2015

What a great learning location for kids and adults alike! Very interactive exhibits, great location on Dana Point Harbor, and a short walk to the Harbor Jetty to see the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Come to Good, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2015

We took our nieces to the Ocean Institute. It was a great experience to be able to touch starfish and see other sea creatures and fish. It took us about 2 hours to go through.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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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?