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About Ocean Institute
The Ocean Institute is open to visitors daily; weekdays, 10 am - 4 pm, and weekends, 10 am - 3 pm. As school children are engaging in ocean science and maritime history programs on weekdays, a smaller portion of the Institute is open weekdays and most of the facility on weekends. Enjoy hundreds of marine animals in aquaria, ocean-themed exhibits and take a tour of a tall ship. For an extra charge, take a tall ship sail or whale watching cruise.
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Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Certificate of Excellence
Dana Point, CA
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Reviews (143)
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All reviews gift shop tall ship sea life tide pools nice little place marine science learning areas great place to learn buy tickets on display underwater world dana point harbor an aquarium couple of hours set sail low tide fish
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1 - 10 of 143 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago

Located at the very end of Dana Dr, right next to Baby Beach on the north (?) end of the harbor. I expected it to be more like an aquarium. They offer tours of the facility including the sailing ships. Interesting information given on both...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank motor33
Reviewed 1 week ago

The hands on exhibits were a hit with the kiddos. We had a great time here, just wish we had more of it! Ryder and Byron tend to whip through exhibits, which run out pretty quickly here. The nice part was getting to go back...More

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank jahminlerum
Fearless01399079290, Guest Services Representative at Ocean Institute, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hello! We are so glad that your children had such a great time. While our Ocean Science labs are open on Saturdays, the brig Pilgrim is closed for routine maintenance. On Sundays the brig Pilgrim is open for tours, along with select days during the...More

Reviewed December 29, 2018 via mobile

Highly recommend the 10:00 am boat ride. The pre-talk (9:15) by Captain Mike was informative and imaginative; we learned so much about gray whales and appreciated his inquisitive spirit. The crew is full of scientists who generously shared their knowledge about what we were seeing....More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank acmommo
Fearless01399079290, Guest Services Representative at Ocean Institute, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

We are so happy that you enjoyed your time on our Pacific Marine Exploration Cruise! Our captain, staff, and volunteers put a lot of passion into their work. We look forward to having you aboard again sometime!

Reviewed December 15, 2018

There are many great experiences you and your family can share at the Dana Point Ocean Institute. Marine science, and California history are all part of the show.

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank Dr_GS_Hurd
Reviewed November 4, 2018

a great learning experience especially for kids. With a small but wonderful aquarium and hands on exhibits

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Ed P
Reviewed October 31, 2018

Basic ocean information. Tiny "aquarium". Obligatory tacky gift shop. Seems to be geared more towards childrens classes.

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank Michael H
Reviewed October 29, 2018

The tall ships are dock over by the institute, plenty of things to keep the kids interested and busy

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Camper558804
Reviewed October 21, 2018 via mobile

Some people might think this place is an aquarium but while it does have displays it’s not an aquarium it’s and Ocean Institute with a half hour tour. We stopped here during a visit to Dana point and discovered this place by accident so we...More

Date of experience: October 2018
1  Thank OnAir600536
Reviewed September 6, 2018

Educational and worth a look. If for nothing else, to see the location. Steps away from the tide pools if it is low tide and you are willing to get your feet wet. The place is not large and you won't be there for hours,...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank adoc4u
Reviewed August 6, 2018

I institute is ok for something to do in Dana Point. It has a lot of educational information to offer along with some aquariums. I thought it was a bit pricey for the amount to see. There are children programs offered but from what I...More

Date of experience: July 2018
1  Thank 384craige
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June 16, 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from OIDanaPoint | Property representative |
Admission is $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends for adults, and $7.50 for seniors and children