Doheny State Beach

25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 29629



Park Information

Rules and Regulations

View of entire beach [28 KB]


Doheny State Beach is a 62 acre park that offers overnight camping, day use, and a variety of educational programs and special events. Located at the mouth of the San Juan Creek, the Park offers over a mile of sandy beach for swimming and surfing. The Creek itself provides a natural habitat for an abundance of local and migrating shorebirds. Three miles west up the Creek is the San Juan Capistrano Mission, while adjacent to the Park on the north is Dana Point Harbor.

In 1931, landowner Edward Doheny donated this site to the California Department of Parks and Recreation for perpetual public use. Today, Doheny State Beach is also a Marine Life Refuge. The Park's Interpretive Programs emphasize the importance of educating the public in the maintenance and preservation of our natural resources.

The Doheny Beach Interpretive Association' was formed in 1982 to provide a mean's of promoting educational and interpretive activities within the Park. The D.S.B.I.A. encourages the community to become more actively involved in events and programs at Doheny. The Association provides for the maintenance and care of the tide pool, aquariums, and gift shop.

Volunteers and Rangers are on hand to answer any questions you may have about the park and the surrounding area. There is also a gift shop located in the Visitor Center for your convenience. Doheny State Beach offers something for everyone year round. Take advantage of Southern California at its best.

Overlooking Beach [33 KB]

Park Information

Total acres: 62
Phone: (714) 496-6172
Fax: (714) 496-9496

Facts in Brief

Park Fees

Entrance Fees:

Cars $5.00
Senior Discount: 62 and older $4.00
Dogs- (except seeing eye dogs) $1.00
Buses- 10 - 24 passengers $20.00
Buses- 25 or more passengers $40.00

Camping Fees:

Peak season rates Off season rates
March 1 - November 20 December 1 - February 28
Sunday - Thursday
Beachfront - $22.00 Beachfront - $19.00
Non-Beach - $17.00 Non-Beach - $14.00
Friday and Saturday Night
Beachfront - $23.00
Non-Beach - $18.00

Activities in the Park

School programs (K-12) Swimming
Girl Scout and Boy Scout Programs Surfing
Indian Education Bicycling
Junior Ranger Bird Watching
Junior Lifeguards Kite Flying
Campfire Programs Windsurfing
Grey whale festival Fishing
Grunion nights Tide Pool Exploration
Halloween ghost tours Diving

To enjoy the park facilities and make your stay an enjoyable experience,

Enjoy our beaches
Don't let foolish actions spoil your day.

Follow these simple safety tips:

The ocean should be considered a potentially hazardous
environment and extreme caution should always be used.

Remember, please conserve water...thank you!

Interpretive Programs

An emphasis on environmental awareness permeates Doheny's active educational program. Presentations are given both in the Park and outside the Park, at schools, retirement communities, and various other locations. Programs held in the Park include the following:



In an effort to maintain security and privacy for Park visitors, the Maintenance crew recently replaced the fence along the Park road from the Campground to the end of South Day Use. In addition, there will be a full facility restroom built in the South Day Use area near the overpass bridge in coming months.

The Visitor Center continues to grow, as new displays and marine animals are added to the exhibits. Volunteer activity is at a new high level, as visitor attendance increases. Doheny State Beach is already gearing up for record numbers of campers and day users in 1996.


Doheny State Beach offers two large day use areas that can accommodate up to 1,200 vehicles. The North Day Use consists of large grassy areas, tall shade trees, picnic sites, and beaches for surfing and swimming. South Day Use area has 50 fire rings, picnic tables, and large sandy beaches. This area is popular for all day beach parties and evening campfire's.

Visitor Center

Located at the entrance to the Park, the Visitor Center has a tide pool, 5 aquariums, a natural history museum, and a gift shop. Trained volunteers work in the Visitor Center to answer questions and give informal educational talks. Also located in the visitor center is the largest public aquarium in Orange County. Admission to the visitor center is free.

Picnic Reservations

Picnic sites can be reserved for all groups, from small family reunion's to large corporate parties. Picnic areas include tables, pedestal bar-be-ques, and fire rings.

Accommodations for small or large groups (500 guests or more), are available. Facilities include picnic tables, a fire pit and barbecue grills at each picnic site. Our palapa, lush lawns, and beach area are beautiful sites for a romantic wedding by the sea or reception. Reservations can be made by calling (714) 496-3617.



Special Event

The staff of Doheny State Beach would like to extend a cordial invitation to consider hosting your next social event at our beautiful park-by-the sea in scenic Dana Point. Doheny hosts many private special events, as well as a number of annual events including the following:

Programs Being Developed

Family Camping

Doheny has 122 camp sites including 33 beach front sites, with fire rings, picnic tables, and hot showers. The campground is open year round, and is one of the busiest in the State Park System. Although there currently are no hook-ups in the campground for RVs, there is a dump station and fresh water fill up. The campground has 5 restroom buildings, 2 shower buildings, pay phones and a campfire center with a screen, stage and seating for 200. During the summer, Campfire Programs and Junior Ranger Programs are held daily in the Campground Amphitheater.


Campsite Fees




$17 Apr 1-Nov 30 $14

Premium Beachfront

Campsite Fees




$22 Mar 1-Nov 30 $19


The Doheny Beach Aquarium is staffed by volunteers and features five aquariums and a tidepool holding over three thousand gallons of water and housing many species of local marine life, including several small sharks and the only threadfin bass fish in existence. In addition, there are displays of local wildlife, a shell collection of California mollusks, interactive displays, whale bones and whaling tools and a gift shop. The aquarium is open from 10am to 4pm on the weekends and 9am to 5pm daily during the summer.

Rules and Regulations for Group Picnics

Picnic Areas A and B

  1. The group size requirement is 100 to 500 people per area.
  2. Area A has 19 picnic tables; Area B has 11 picnic tables.
  3. Each area has 1 large fire ring, 1 large B.B.Q. grill, sink, counters, cold drink bin, and electrical outlets (15-20 amps).
  4. Important Information

Non-Refundable Reservation Fees Per Day:

June 1st to September 30th October 1st to May 31st
$100.00 per area (Monday-Friday) $100.00 per area (Monday-Friday)
$400.00 per area (Saturday and Sunday) $200.00 per area (Saturday and Sunday)

Picnic Areas C and D

  1. There is no group size requirement for these beach areas.
  2. The cost of the site is determined by the number of people, time of the day, date, and activities.
  3. Each area has 1 large fire ring and 6 picnic tables.
  4. Important Information

Picnic Areas 1 - 7 and 8 - 13

  1. The group size requirement is 25 - 100 people per area.
  2. Each area has 6 picnic tables, 1 large fire ring, 4 pedestal B.B.Q.'s - all on concrete pads.
  3. Important Information
June 1st to September 30th October 1st to May 31st
$25.00 per area (Monday-Friday) $25.00 per area (Monday-Friday)
$100.00 per area (Saturday and Sunday) $50.00 per area (Saturday and Sunday)

Areas 5 and 6

  1. The group size requirement is 25 people per area.
  2. Each area has 4 picnic tables and 4 pedestal B.B.Q.'s - all on concrete pads.
  3. Important Information

Non-Refundable Reservation Fees Per Day:

$25.00 per area per day (year-round)

Beach Palapa

The Palapa is located on the beach in front of the snack bar. It is a beautiful location for wedding ceremonies and other types of events. The cost of the Palapa is $225.00 for 4 hours. Alcohol is only permitted in this area with special approval and permit fees. No other amenities are included in the cost.

Food and Alcohol Regulations

Alcohol may be consusned at sites A and B, and sites 1 through 6 with the completion of an Alcohol Waiver Form that is available at Doheny State Beach. The fee is $25.00 for sites 1 through 6 and $100.00 for sites A and B. Food and/or beverages cannot be sold to memhers of your group or to the public. No vehicles are permitted on sidewallis or in picnic areas for loading or unloading of food and supplies. Olitside vendors must check with the Park Itangers to verify the rules of operation within Doheny State Beach.

Parking Information and Fees

Group reservations do not guarantee parking. All parking is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Parking fees:


Reservations may be made up to one year in advance. An area is not reserved until the reservation fee is received at Doheny Reservations may be made in person or mailed to: Doheny State Beach, located at 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629. Office hours are 8:00-2:00, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. No reservations are accepted for July 4th. Doheny State Beach's picnic reservation phone numer is (714) 496-3617.

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