We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Things to do and eat with an almost one year old

Which Dana Point hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
137 posts
8 reviews
Things to do and eat with an almost one year old

We are travelling to Dana Point for a wedding in March and wanted to see what might be good to do with an almost one year old. We plan to meet some friends on Saturday day at Pretend City in Irvine for a bit. We have all day on Sunday and maybe some time on Monday morning. We were thinking that the Capt Dave's Whale watching might be better when he is a bit older though it sounds fabulous. We were considering visiting the Ocean Institute, trip to Catalina, beach, and the Harbor area but wasn't sure what might be best for a one year old and how much time we should set aside for one or two of them. We also want to try one of the Italian restaurants (either Casanova, Luciana's or Jack's) and probably RJ's for breakfast or lunch. Would they be child-friendly? I'm a bit of a foodie but don't want to disrupt others at meals since I'm not sure how our little one will be at that age. He does quite well now though going out. Thanks for any hints or advice.

San Juan...
Level Contributor
30 posts
38 reviews
1. Re: Things to do and eat with an almost one year old

Hi there...I live in this area and I have a 6 year old and I am a foodie. In a nutshell with an almost 1 year old you don't really have to plan much. Outside the ocean Institute there are some really lovely tall ships to check out. A nice walk in the harbor is great as well and you will often times see pelicans and a seal or 2 hanging out dockside. If I only had a day and change I would get up and go to RJs for breakfast (its a solild 7 on a scale of 1-10) and then I would spend some time at the shops in the harbor just walking around...maybe grab a coffee at Coffee Importers (awesome stuff). Catalina is an entire day event you have to get up early and you will get back about 5 or so. I would skip it as it would be the only thing you could do that day. If you have a car you can venture over to San Juan Capistrano and check out Zoomars Petting Zoo. Its cute for little ones and the area its in (Los Rios district) is really very quaint....our favorite restaurants in DP and SJC area are Mollies for breakfast in SJC, Lucianas for Italian (yes they are kid friendly but go early and make a reservation it gets packed on the weekends) not a fan of the other 2 places you mentioned and Roys Pub in San Clemente (part of Vine Restaurant) but I would skip that one with kid in tow. A great way to spend the afternoon is to drive down to San Clemente and walk the pier and have lunch at the Fisherman (really great chowder its right on the pier). Some other ideas...check out the headlands nature walk in Dana Point, the playground/park off Stonehill Drive in Dana Point called Creek Side Park, tidepools behind the ocean Institute (there is cave access back there as well at low tide) and my all time favorite....a fire at night at the fire pits at the Doheny Day Camping sites....you can find all this online but feel free to email me if you need more info. Have fun.

So. Cal
Level Contributor
1,160 posts
18 reviews
2. Re: Things to do and eat with an almost one year old

We love RJ's Cafe for breakfast. Go early to avoid lines.

Not a fan of Jack's and I'm not on the bandwagon that Luciana's is child friendly. Sorry. I believe most would consider it romantic. That leaves Casanova's. :)

You don't mention your dates in March but the Festival of Whales will be going on during the weekends of March 2-3 and 9-10 which is a great event for all ages.

San Clemente has a cute Farmer's Market on Sunday if that interests you.

Agree, going out to Catalina Island would be a bit much.

All the above are fun suggestions.

Hope you have allowed some time during your visit to stop at nearby Laguna Beach. Great place to stroll around for a couple of hours.

Level Contributor
137 posts
8 reviews
3. Re: Things to do and eat with an almost one year old

Thanks so much Marcy and Socalbeachbum! I think that we need more time! We are going the weekend of the 23rd so will miss the Festival of Whales. We probably will hit RJs for breakfast and am planning to go to Laguna Beach as well with friends. Depending on the tides, it sounds like the Ocean Institute with tide pools and the cave might be fun. The harbor area sounds like a nice relaxing stroll with things to see and I'm always looking for great coffee. San Juan Capistrano also sounds fun with the petting zoo as well. Not sure if we will have time for that but sounds great for our little one so might try to fit it in either on the way into town or before we leave the area on Monday. Might try to fit the headlands hike sometime near sunset; the fire at night sounds wonderful as well. We definitely will have plenty to do and may just have to come back again sometime. Thanks so much for all the hints and ideas!! We are very much looking forward to our trip!

laguna niguel, ca
Destination Expert
for Honolulu
Level Contributor
7,324 posts
14 reviews
4. Re: Things to do and eat with an almost one year old

best activity in dana point is the walk around the harbor. Bring the stroller

5. Re: Things to do and eat with an almost one year old

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:15 am, February 16, 2014