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Address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629-2723
Phone Number:
+1 949-496-2274
Website
Today
10:00 - 16:00
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Mon - Fri 10:00 - 16:00
Sat - Sun 10:00 - 15:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

The Ocean Institute is open to visitors daily; weekdays, 10 am - 4 pm, and...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 116 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 54
    Excellent
  • 33
    Very good
  • 19
    Average
  • 7
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Great way to learn about sea life and life at sea

As a member of the Ocean Institute, I can say first hand how beneficial and educational the institute is for people of all ages. The institute has 3 ships, the Brig Pilgrim... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Tom M
,
Dana Point, California

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116 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 116: English reviews
Level Contributor
49 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

We came on the wrong day or we missed out on the special programs. It felt more like a learning center for school kids that needed a tour guide to enjoy. I took my teenager and we were done in about 30 minutes. Very nice facility....just wish I would have known it wasn't geared for teens.

Helpful?
Thank Alisha T
Yorba Linda, CA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I visited the Ocean Institute in Dana Point on a Thursday as a tag along to a school field trip. Due to the number of people allowed in per group, I was not allowed in with the 1st graders to where they received their educational tour. I paid my $5 to enter the Headlands and Beyond exhibit area. There was... More 

Helpful?
Thank satilano
OIDanaPoint, Public Relations Manager at Ocean Institute, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to review the Ocean Institute! We pride ourselves on being an educational facility where the public and schools can visit to learn more about our oceans and environment. It sounds like your child participated in "A House for Hermit Crab" where students learn the difference between fact and fiction as they use lab equipment... More 

Dana Point, California
Level Contributor
192 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

As a member of the Ocean Institute, I can say first hand how beneficial and educational the institute is for people of all ages. The institute has 3 ships, the Brig Pilgrim replica, the Spirit of Dana Point, and the Sea Explorer. People can experience the latter two on the open sea. There are often children's events on the Pilgrim,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Tom M
OIDanaPoint, Public Relations Manager at Ocean Institute, responded to this review

Thank you for the great review, we love our members, and are so appreciative of your support! We understand the role-play aboard Pilgrim and The Spirit can seem intense; we assure you that our instructors go through rigorous training to be able to gauge how the children are reacting to the role-play. Our instructors never push the boundaries of what... More 

Grand Junction, Colorado
Level Contributor
90 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Great place to visit whether an adult or family with young children. The staff is very knowledgeable about sea life and the history of the area. The exhibits are interesting and attractively displayed. Well worth the fee to enter.

Helpful?
Thank 777jeannie
OIDanaPoint, Public Relations Manager at Ocean Institute, responded to this review

Thank you for the great review, visit again soon! More 

Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
46 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We spent a few hours at the Ocean Institute with children and grandchildren and learned quite a bit about sea life. The children liked very much touching the life fish. Next we visited the old sailing ship the "Pilgrim' moored next to the Institute and had a good look around the decks guided by a very good instructor. All in... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jacobus M
OIDanaPoint, Public Relations Manager at Ocean Institute, responded to this review

Thank you for the great review, we are so glad you enjoyed the visit! More 

Evergreen, Colorado
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 March 2017

Stopped here to check it out but didn't realize there was almost nothing to see or do and was charged $15 for our family of 3 and we were there for maybe 15 min. There was a fish tank with an eel and a couple of fish and a tiny touch tank with 3 things in it. A woman came... More 

Helpful?
Thank valsview
San Juan Capistrano, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2017

Very informative means of introducing children to facts regarding marine life and conditions, and protecting the environment without the hysteria of some of the better known agencies that promote ecological preservation. The excursions for day and night observations are particularly valuable so take one if the opportunity presents itself.

Helpful?
Thank petelapuh
Laguna Niguel, California
Level Contributor
175 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2017

I attended an evening food & wine fundraiser for a local HS in Dana Point. They space was great and it was not very cold considering its right next to the harbor. I would recommend this place as an event venue.

Helpful?
Thank Cynthia G
Upland, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2017

located in Dana Point Harbor. Great place for the kids with family. Kids will love it and learn a lot, first class.

Helpful?
Thank bruce4magi
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2017

This is the place to learn about the ocean and how we can protect it. Very knowledgeable people to answer your questions. This institute is for everybody. Kids of all ages will learn a great deal about the ocean and be amazed at the variety of creatures you will meet.

Helpful?
Thank Diana N

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?