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    • It’s the birthplace of SoCal surf.

      It’s a whale watch and dolphin watch capital.

      Dana Point is also your entrance to the great Pacific Coast Highway and route #1, which will take you, minus a few detours, all the way up to Eureka.

      DP has more going for it than most small California coastal towns.

      So who’s up for joining me on a video #Photowalk? You’ll see some cool surf, plenty of dolphins, perhaps a whale or two, a charming harbor and unique to the OC beach cities - a parking spot.

      As many of you know, I live in the Southern California city of Manhattan Beach, which is rather idyllic, as you can tell from many of the morning hometown shots I post here regularly.

      The Orange County beaches have a different vibe, and way more dramatic feels, with cliffs, caves, tidepools and more. Laguna Beach, for my money, is the most impressive and dramatic, but during the summer, it's Europe style packed and really hard to find a spot to ditch the car and skip the crowds.

      Which is what's so nice about Dana Point.

      You can pull into town, even on a weekend afternoon, and not to be overwhelmed by the masses. Nightlife, art galleries and dozens of cute shops? This isn't the place for that. Small town, walkable paths and great views? That's Dana Point.

      Plus, it's unique perch in attracting so many whales and dolphins (more of the big guys in the winter, FYI) and it's a worthy place to check out on your next Southern California adventure.

      We did our whale watch with Captain Dave's Dolphin Safari, and were quite impressed. Check out our interview with Dave Anderson in our video and our footage from the boat, as well his YouTube site, which has some pretty awesome drone footage!

      The surfer girl in our thumbnail is the one and only Jan Schrieber, who also has a killer \YouTube channel, AdventureMuse. That's Jan the surfer girl in my thumbnail above. Thanks Jan!

      Links:

      Dana Point Photowalk, with mapping info

      Dana Point Gallery

      Dana Point Photowalk video

    • Waving hello... I'm in North Texas now but you can't take the Califorina out of the girl ;-). I was in MDR a few months ago and the plants and succulents along the Venice canals were amazing after a winter of good rain. Have you done a photowalk there?

    • I thought this Dana Point edition turned out beautifully! I had no idea there were SO many dolphins and whales in the Dana Point area - thank you for educating me, Captain Dave! And I even liked the timelapse of the Dana Point Harbor, although the boats did look like they were wiggling a bit :)

    • They keep getting better. 👏 My favorite part was the Interview with Tim Cook and his drone footage of the whales. I didn't realize that he had a side hustle. I also didn't know Dana Point was such a good place to watch whales and dolphins, but he sold me.

      I always love hearing from the locals. The surfer who explained how they became the center of producing films like Endless Summer was fascinating.

    • Thanks again Victoria. This was your idea. I originally was going to go there in the spring, after Laguna, Newport and Seal Beach, but just couldn't pull it off at the time. I've lived in SoCal for multiple decades, I had no idea about the dolphin/whale population either!

    • Thanks Chris--as you know, my favorite part about doing these videos is making new friends in each port and getting to interview them! Hopefully, that and the photography is what makes these ones different from other travel videos.

      As for the production--I had some help on this one, from the great Sean Fujiwara on camera. Can you imagine me trying to talk to the camera on a tripod as the boat is rocking and rolling through the waters? Also, I switched from GoPro in the JAWS attachment to the Karma gimbal. Made a big difference for me--I was surprised to see how much of a difference there was.

      Thanks again for watching!