Living in Dana Point 🐬 What to Know Before Moving to Dana Point CA
Chip Martin
Chip Martin

Living in Dana Point 🐬 | What to Know Before Moving to Dana Point CA

Point the way to Dana Point! The Acjachemen people lived in the area of Dana Point for thousands of years until European settlers arrived in 1769. The Portuguese and Spanish built a port in Dana Point and the community became a vibrant trading hub. In the 1920s, Americans developed the land and built homes and shops.

Dana Point was incorporated as a city in 1989. The city was named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., a United States District Attorney and memorist who wrote about the area. The motto for the city is “Harboring the Good Life.” What is Dana Point known for? Dana Point is best known for being a surfing destination, with several different beaches available for free to surfers. But is Dana Point a nice place to live? Yes, it’s a terrific place to live with beautiful outdoor attractions, incredible homes for sale, and affordable yet delicious restaurants.

Thousands of people are thinking about moving to Dana Point. But before you start moving, you should consider what living in Dana Point is like. Here is your guide to this breathtaking city.

Where Is Dana Point?

What county is Dana Point located in? Dana Point is in Orange County, inside the Los Angeles metro area. Where is Dana Point California? Dana Point is a waterfront community directly on the Pacific Ocean; it also borders San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Laguna Niguel. It is 65 miles from Dana Point to San Diego. The city is well-developed and predominantly residential, with a few parks and compact commercial areas. The waterfront has docks and wharfs, as well as beaches and small conservation parks.

Orange County Transportation Authority provides bus services to Dana Point residents. Routes 1, 85, 90, and 91 run through Dana Point, connecting the community to various cities in Southern California. You can use this map to see where routes go. California Route 1 runs through the southern parts of the community and provides access to Laguna Beach and San Clemente, making moving to Dana Point easy.

Dana Point Population and Demographics

The population of Dana Point in 2020 was 33,107, including over 1,300 veterans and 5,900 children. The population shrank by 0.7% between 2010 and 2020, and the population density was 5,102.8 people per square mile. Notable people from Dana Point include Magic Johnson, Bernadette Withers, and Melinda Clark.

Dana Point demographics include:

  • 50.5% female, 49.5% male
  • Median age: 48.5
  • Racial and ethnic composition: 81.5% White (72.6% non-Hispanic or Latino White), 17.5% Hispanic or Latino, 6.1% two or more races, 4.0% Asian, 2.1% Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Ohter Pacific Islander
  • Median household income: $111,132 (1.3 times the state median)
  • Educational attainment: 95.0% of residents older than 25 have graduated high school, 53.2% have a bachelor’s degree
  • Foreign-born population: 12.7%

Dana Point is one of the most prosperous communities in Orange County. In addition to its high median household income, it has a poverty rate of 5.6%, which is less than half the Los Angeles metro average.

Dana Point is one of the safest cities in Orange County. Here are the FBI crime statistics from 2020:

  • Overall crime rate: 1,434 offenses per 100,000 residents (44.4% lower than the state, 38.9% lower than the country)
  • Violent crime rate: 95 crimes per 100,000 residents (78.5% lower than the state, 75.5% lower than the country)
  • Property crime rate: 1,339 offenses per 100,000 people (37.4% lower than the state, 31.6% lower than the country)

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement services to people living in Dana Point CA. The department employs 2,906 people, including 1,460 sworn deputies. The department has an office in Dana Point with 25 deputies and six sergeants.

Dana Point Cost of Living

You can use Orange County cost of living statistics to estimate the Dana Point cost of living. Orange County has a cost of living index of 153.9; Orange County items cost 53.9% more than the national average. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four would need to earn $114,841 a year to cover the cost of living in Dana Point. While living in Dana Point CA can be expensive, you can find high-paying jobs in the community and rent affordable apartments for rent Dana Point.

Dana Point real estate can be expensive, especially if you’re looking for homes for sale in Dana Point near the water. According to Redfin, the median sale price of Dana Point homes for sale is $1,582,500. According to RentCafe, the average rent in Dana Point CA for Dana Point apartments is $3,164 a month.

Typical Dana Point* Living Expenses

  • 1 loaf of fresh white bread: $4.15
  • 1 pound of chicken fillets: $5.00
  • 1 pound of tomatoes: $2.75
  • 1 gallon of gasoline: $5.19
  • Average Dana Point* utilities per month: $172.85
  • 1 pair of jeans: $58.75

Source: Numbeo

*Expenses for Irvine

Dana Point Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Dana Point

Dana Point has a few formal neighborhoods, many subdivisions, and informal communities. Here’s where you should live if you’re looking to buy Dana Point CA real estate.

Capistrano Beach | Recently Built Dana Point Homes for Sale Close to Green Spaces

Capistrano Beach is located in the southern tip of Dana Point, bordering Interstate 5 and San Clemente. It is a compact neighborhood with walkable streets and great access to several local beaches and parks, making it a great place for surfers and outdoor enthusiasts. Homes for sale in Dana Point in the community are expensive, with almost all properties costing more than $1 million. However, they are very spacious, covering more than 1,600 square feet and containing at least two bedrooms. Many homes are recently built and have modern architectural features like open floorplans, recessed lighting, and stone countertops.

Monarch Beach | Luxurious Homes in a Conveniently Located Dana Point Neighborhood

Monarch Beach is well known for its luxury resorts and golf clubs. But it’s also a vibrant residential community with access to beaches, stores, and restaurants. You can find condos and single-family homes in the neighborhood, though all options cost over $1 million. You can purchase homes that are less than ten years old and have luxurious amenities like elevators, formal entry halls, and cathedral ceilings. Many homes for sale Dana Point CA have lots with thousands of square feet where you can build garages, guest homes, and other features.

Dana Point Weather and Climate

Dana Point has a dry-summer Mediterranean climate with warm and sunny summers and cool and partly cloudy winters. The hottest month is August, with an average temperature of 70 degrees and an average high of 77. The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 57 degrees and an average low of 51.

July and August have no precipitation and almost 90% clear days. February is the cloudiest and rainiest month, but 59% of days are clear, and only 2.8 inches of precipitation falls during February. Dana Point CA receives 11.3 inches of rain on average throughout the year. The lack of rain means the community experiences very few days of humidity; August is the most humid month, with 6.1 muggy or oppressive days.

August is the best month to visit Dana Point California, and enjoy Dana Point weather. The temperature and humidity are mild enough that you can enjoy the beaches and public attractions in town while wearing shorts or a swimsuit.

Things to Do in Dana Point

Dana Point is one of the best places in Southern California for family-friendly, unique outdoor attractions. You can also try shopping at various locations in the city. Monarch Bay Plaza is the largest shopping mall in the city, containing a CVS Pharmacy and clothing boutiques. Dana Point contains numerous gift shops and small stores like Killer Dana, one of the oldest surf shops in the city.

Capistrano Beach Park

Capistrano Beach is a top hub for surfing, paddle boarding, and swimming in Orange County. You can enjoy beautiful sunset views at night, and you can play beach volleyball and basketball on free courts.

35005 Beach Road, Dana Point, CA, 92624, 949-923-2280

Doheny State Beach

Doheny Beach attracts nearly one million visitors a year, as Doheny contains incredible campgrounds, sites for surfing and bodyboarding, and unique tide pools. Doheny is also a top point of interest for surf fishing.

25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA, 92629, 949-496-6171

Dana Wharf

Dana Wharf offers kid-friendly sportfishing classes and must do whale watching tours throughout the year, including in winter and at night. You can also rent boats for private classes and tours as well as fun parties and outside burials at sea.

34675 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA, 92629, 949-496-5794

Additional Things to Do in Dana Point CA

The City of Dana Point Recreation takes care of Dana Point’s 28 parks and plans family-friendly events and courses throughout the year. You can use this event calendar to see when concerts and farmers are and figure out what to do in Dana Point.

Dana Point Restaurants

Orange County is well known for its diverse cuisine, and Dana Point is no different. You can sample a wide range of cuisines and enjoy numerous experiences in Dana Point, including romantic seafood restaurants with breathtaking waterside views.

Salt Creek Grille

Salt Creek Grille is a classy American restaurant that serves sushi, rotisserie chicken, steak, and other premium entrees. Salt Creek serves dozens of local wines and handcrafted cocktails, making it a good place for couples.

32802 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, CA, 92629, 949-661-7799

Turk’s Dana Warf

Turks Dana Point is a family-owned casual eatery on the Dana Point waterfront. It is one of the most popular breakfast places in the city, but you can also order sandwiches and steak for lunch and dinner.

34683 Golden Lantern Street, Dana Point, CA, 92629, 949-496-9028

Coastal Kitchen

Coastal Kitchen Dana Point is a light and casual restaurant housed in a quaint historic building dating to the 1920s. You can order unique seafood dishes like roasted trout, crab cake salad, and Scottish salmon.

34091 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, CA, 92629, 949-449-2822

Dana Point Jobs

Roughly 17,500 people have jobs in Dana Point; according to Payscale, jobs in Dana Point CA have an average salary of $81,000 a year and an average hourly rate of $20.28. Professional services, health care, and retail trade are the three biggest job sectors in Dana Point CA. Professional services jobs in Dana Point CA pay median earnings of $165,349.

Major employers in the community include Waldorf Astoria, Optivest, Ocean Institute, and Valley Skilled Nursing. You can search for high-paying Dana Point CA jobs using Indeed, and you can apply for City of Dana Point jobs online.

Dana Point Schools

Capistrano Unified School District serves students living in Dana Point CA. Elementary schools in Dana Point include Richard Henry Dana Elementary. More than two-thirds of Dana Elementary students identify as Hispanic or Latino, and 87.5% of teachers have three or more years of experience.

Dana Hills High School is the only public high school in Dana Point. Dana Hills is home to several unique programs, including the Health and Medical Occupations Academy, which trains high school students for medical jobs. Half of Dana Hills students take at least one AP exam, and 42% pass at least one.

The city is home to a few small private schools. Dana Point Montessori serves children between the ages of two and six in small group environments. St.Edwards the Confessor School is a preK-8th grade Catholic school with a STREAM curriculum, teaching students about religion, writing, and reading in addition to science and mathematics.

Dana Point is not home to any colleges and universities, though it is near several notable ones. US News and World Report ranks Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo in the top 30 national liberal arts colleges. Soka University is well known for its interdisciplinary programs and mandatory study abroad programs.

The Dana Point Library is part of the Orange County Library System. It is a hub for kid-friendly events and classes, including film screenings and art clubs.

Dana Point Statistics and Information

  • County: Orange
  • Dana Point area: 6.75 square miles
  • Dana Point zip code: 92624, 92629
  • Dana Point area code: 949
  • Dana Point elevation: 144 feet
  • Dana Point time zone: Pacific Standard Time
  • Closest airport to Dana Point: John Wayne Airport (SNA), 24 miles from Dana Point

Dana Point Map

You can find the best restaurants in Dana Point CA, and things to do in Dana Point California to visit with this Dana Point map.

People moving to Dana Point have a point! The community may be best known for its beaches and outdoor attractions, but you’ll love the safe streets, walkable neighborhoods, and delicious restaurants.

You can start living in Dana Point today, but you should contact movers first. Daly Movers has a crew of the most trusted Dana Point movers with more than 50 years of experience in the moving industry. Get a free quote by calling 800-395-6683.

Chip Martin
Chip Martin
BA in philosophy, Long Beach State 1974, various trades after college including cabinet maker and boat refinisher, then became a local moving driver in 1976, bought Daly Movers in 1979, managed company, and drove local and long distance until 1995 when I transitioned into sales/office full time. Almost fifty years later Daly Movers and I have sold, worked, and familiarized ourselves with virtually every type of household and O&I relocation.
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