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“Great little museum/aquarium.”
Review of Ocean Institute

Ocean Institute
Ranked #1 of 1 Museums in Dana Point
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Burlington, Vermont
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great little museum/aquarium.”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Nice little place, but check their hours for opening times -- it's not open as much as you would think it would be. Closes at 3pm on weekends?

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
Thank Classiccartraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Newport Beach, California
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“friendly staff. great exhibits. wonderful location.”
Reviewed July 29, 2012

make sure you visit and take the kids! staff is so friendly! touch tanks. microscopes. acquariums. parking and great beach location for a picnic or walk to lunch after. if you are able, donate to their cause! they work hard there!

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank anengineeredtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dana Point, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fun!”
Reviewed July 25, 2012

This is a really neat fun place to bring the whole family. They have some really fun ways to bring the ocean to you.

The creator of sponge bob square pants worked here and got the idea to make an under water world from his days at this place!

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Extremely upset!”
Reviewed July 23, 2012

My family heard rave reviews about the pirate ship tours run by The Ocean Institute. We live in Texas and planned our California vacation around the Spirit of Dana Point tour. My in-laws (who live in CA) bought our tour tickets 4 months in advance and called one month prior to confirm reservations. No one ever called her back. We arrived at 1:00 for our 2:00 tour. We were told they couldn't find the sign up sheet and we had to wait until the right person came back from lunch. Finally at 1:45 we were told the cruise was cancelled. My mother-in-law never received a phone call/email and was not given a refund for the tour (they told her she would be given a refund at some point but didn't know when). They told us they could probably get us on a different tour down the harbor but it took off at 2 pm and we wouldn't be able to get there in time. We had rented a mini-van specifically for the day to fit our entire family in to one car for this cruise. We have limited time on our vacation from Texas and are extremely upset. We were building up this event to my children for months and are totally disappointed with the cancellation. What is even worse, the ship did sail but with a private party on board. Here we wasted a day we had planned for months, and to see the ship sail with other people on it was the tipping point of our anger. We would have planned a completely different event but with no notice of the cancellation, our day was completely wasted. The weekend staff was very nice, but had no control over the situation. They did tell me this is not the first time double scheduling has happened.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank Moe12345678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilbert, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“What a great place!”
Reviewed July 21, 2012

This place is a hidden gem. The Institute is only open on weekends during the summer months.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Paulalalahhhhh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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