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.

“Great place for kids ~ Nice gift shop.”
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: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Located on the end of the Marina this is a hidden gem to take the kids for a couple hours to learn about Marine life. This is a non-profit business which is deserving of every donation. I loved the large fish aquarium and the great selection of gift items and books for kids in the gift shop.

1  Thank sactrav66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (122)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

93 - 97 of 122 reviews

Reviewed September 15, 2012

The Ocean Institute is a great place for both adults and kids to enjoy learning about our oceans and sea creatures. It is located right on the shore of Dana Point (beach). There is a fee for admission and you can become a member too if you plan on visiting the institute multiple times. They have tanks full of fish for kids to look at and learn about. The Ocean Institute also has the "Tall Ships Festival" every year and this year we went to the Institute the day of the festival. The place was packed but the Institute did a great job of providing shuttles off Selva Road to the Institute. The Tall Ships festival was quite entertaining for my kids. They had 7 sail ships docked and you could walk the plank from one ship to the other. (No life jackets required). Each ship had its own history behind it and the people were keen on answering any questions. You had PIRATES at the festival and plenty of food available for purchase, music to keep us all entertained. The ocean institute is wheelchair accessible but not the ships. You can buy "passports books" during the tall ships festival and kids get ship stickers on every ship they board and then they can put those stickers on their passport books, a highlight for my kids. The ships go out in the evening and have cannon battles, a great experience for kids and adults who love being pirates. There is an extra charge if you want to sail out and do the cannon battles and they sell out pretty fast. The staff are very helpful at the Institute and it is a great place to spend a couple of hours with the family and learn about our oceans. Great for families with young kids, teens and everyone who likes oceans. See my pictures and enjoy your visit!

2  Thank Aero E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

The whale watching ride on their research vessel was one of the highlights of our vacation. The crew is very helpful and knowledgable. I highly recommend adding a visit to this center, and the whale watching boat ride, to your vacation plans.

1  Thank JPaulTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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?

Thank Classiccartraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

Thank anengineeredtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Ocean Institute also viewed

Dana Point, Orange County
Dana Point, Orange County
 

Been to Ocean Institute? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing