Dana Point is bordered by the city of Laguna Beach to the north, San Juan Capistrano to the east, and San Clemente to the south. With nearly seven miles of coastal bluffs and rolling hills along the Pacific Ocean many of its 35,000+ residents enjoy scenic coastal views.
Incorporated in 1989, the City of Dana Point is named after Richard Henry Dana Jr. (1815-1882), a Harvard-trained lawyer, seaman, and author of the classic sea journal, Two Years Before the Mast (1840). Dana's voyage took him from Boston around Cape Horn to California on the merchant ship, Pilgrim, arriving in the area once known as Capistrano Bay, "the most romantic spot on the California coast," known today as Dana Point.
In 1926, the Dana Point Syndicate was created with a collection of heavy hitters, company presidents, movie producers, and real estate investors joining to purchase 1,388 acres of land, some of which includes the "Headlands" of today. Promising tree-lined, paved streets, electricity, telephones, sidewalks, water mains, storm drains, sewers, and other amenities, 35 homes and a number of commercial buildings were built.
Capistrano Beach, while possessing its own zip code, is in fact a part of the city of Dana Point. Avoiding much of the commercialization of the surrounding areas, it remains a unique and charming place with a "small town" atmosphere.
Capo Beach, as it is sometimes referred to, is situated along the coast on the southern end of Dana Point. Homes range from beach cottages to some of the finest real estate in Orange County. Many multi-million dollar homes can be found in the area, with some situated atop a cliff overlooking Coast Highway and the Capistrano Beach park below. There is also a selection of more modest dwellings in Capistrano Beach, namely older homes located off Camino Capistrano a little farther from the shore.
In the family oriented community of Dana Hills, located above Lantern Village, South of Monarch Beach and adjacent to Dana Hills High School, the majority of homes are one and two story detached single family properties built from the early 1970's to the mid 1990's. The Dana Hills area incorporates 28 single family detached house and condo subdivisions comprising a total of about 1,950 homes. Many houses throughout the Dana Hills area have been custom renovated over the years to make this a unique and charming area. Residents have commented on the "sense of community" they find here, away from the glitz and glamour of other areas of Dana Point.
Lantern Village is Dana Point's historic core named after the different colored lanterns, used by ships in the 1800s to advertise their various fares when pulling into the Dana Point natural harbor.
In Lantern Village, overlooking fabulous views of Dana Point Harbor and the coastline, older homes from the early development of Dana Point (circa 1920s) are nestled in with a variety of newer construction including single-family homes, town homes and condos in addition to award winning restaurants and abundant shopping.
Monarch Beach is a small gated community recognized as an upscale waterfront community and a beautiful resort style suburb of Dana Point. The St. Regis and the Ritz Carlton, both world class beachside resorts, make their home here and attract predominantly wealthy visitors to the area. Visitors and residents alike enjoy the top rated golf course and surfers are attracted to the nearby Salt Creek Beach.
Named for the Monarch butterflies that previously used the area as a breeding ground, Monarch Beach homes are highly sought after with many of them offering upscale direct beach access as well as a close proximity to nearby shopping and award winning restaurants.