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Cultural heritage (new/modern)

Dana Point hosts the world’s first and longest-running annual whale festival, the Dana Point Festival of Whales, which has been taking place for over 50 years and hosts as many 25,000 visitors annually over its two-week duration. The festival started in 1971 as an annual celebration of the gray whale migration along the California coast. During the festival, various activities are organised, from lectures about whales and music performances to sailing clinics and a fine arts show – and, of course, lots of responsible whale watching tours.

For the 2022 Festival of Whales, a whale tail sculpture, titled ‘Fluke: A Tale of Plastic’, was made from bottles found during local beach cleans and displayed at Dana Point Harbor for the community to enjoy. Marine-inspired arts and crafts, including life-sized whales, can also be found at the Dana Point Fine Arts ‘Art Walk’ on Doheny Beach.

In addition, Dana Point is home to the Ocean Institute, world class education centre and maritime museum that educates nearly 100,000 students, teachers and parents annually with over 60 marine science and maritime history programs. Doheny Beach also offers visitors an Interpretive Centre experience.