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Ocean Institute

24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 496-2274
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Ranked #6 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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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    34
    11
    5
    4
    2
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Verdi, Nevada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014 NEW

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
12 helpful votes 12 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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Emmaus
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

We had a great tour guide who very enthusiastically told us about the sea creatures and the ship that's been restored.

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San Clemente, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 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
24 attraction reviews
182 helpful votes 182 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
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
25 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 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

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