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

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 108 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 53
  • 29
    Very good
  • 18
  • 5
  • 3
Ocean Institute Museum/Aquarium

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

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Upland, California

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108 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 108: English reviews
Upland, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

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

Thank bruce4magi
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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.

Thank Diana N
Laguna Niguel, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2016

Great place for a family outing,great education for the whole family,fun and entertaining,great gift shop good prices

Thank lasmith2021
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2016

The Ocean Institue was a fun and informative place to visit. There is a charge to get in, but you have a tour guide the whole time who is explaining a lot about the institute and ocean life. Our tour guide was also great with our smaller children who were full of questions. After visiting the institute we took a... More 

Thank Charity D
Level Contributor
24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2016

Attended a party at the Ocean Institute and was not overly impressed. The room was hot on a Nov night, even with the doors open - they need fans overhead if they aren't going to run AC. The restrooms were standard public restrooms. Staff was not overly friendly, food was ok.

Thank 1Gl0balTraveler
Wooster, Ohio
Level Contributor
44 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2016

learned a lot about the ocean, the ocean depths and what is beneath the sea. very educational with lots of fun facts. school group was getting an introduction to the brig pilgrim as we walked by.. don't miss the beach behind the ocean institute or the break wall. great spot for watching the waves and the tide come in

Thank jim w
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
87 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2016

Great educational stop while in Dana Point. They have historic boats, classes/demonstrations, and informational areas. You can spend thirty minutes or 3 hours here and enjoy your time.

Thank SoCalAdventureSeeker
Laguna Niguel
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2016

We have been members of the Ocean Institute for many years. We went to see the Tall Ships Festival held at Dana Point Harbor held annually. The institute, who hosted the Tall Ship Festival in league with the city of Dana Point, is situated in a picturesque setting adjacent to Dana Point in the harbor. We knew a little about... More 

Thank Richard B
Dana Point,
Level Contributor
57 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2016 via mobile

Great place to visit with kids. So much to learn in a non paid park atmosphere. Sea life both Old and new, great exhibit. You Will enjoy the rest of the day around Dana Point.

Thank johnsanDanaPoint_
Longmont, Colorado
Level Contributor
57 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2016

The Ocean Institute is a fabulous spot to learn so much more than you ever dreamed of. It is located near a beach area, so the sights are both indoors and outdoors. It is a crown jewel for children, but also teens and adults.


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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?