Capistrano Beach, Dana Point, California

By Tee1

Capo Beach can be found in between the Doheny State Park and San Clemente to the south. The real name of this great beach spot is Capistrano Beach Park. It is a famous California beach in Orange County’s Dana Point. Capistrano Beach in Dana Point is operated by Orange County. It’s a beautifully simple beach vacation spot, like all of the best beaches. The park has a basketball court that is just steps from the water and also functional facilities.

Unlike Salt Creek Beach, there are no grassy fields at Capo Beach. You might find a few volleyball nets set up a bit north of the parking lot. At the parking area, the beach is tiny. Head north and it gets significantly wider. If you continue walking to the north, you will hit the southern bottom of Doheny State Beach. If you opt to walk south, you will see a lot of houses along “Beach Road”. This is not a public beach. Stay off the dry sand and walk below the mean high tide line. It’s hard to think its ok for the beach not to be open to the public, but maybe they have their reasons.

Where is Capistrano Beach? 33°27′N 117°40′W

This beach spot is typical of your All-American beach town. Set along the southern border of Dana Point, beach houses run the gamut from simple cottages to pretentious and overbearing. Starting on Beach Road, you will find a few celebrities and otherwise successful individuals. The Hobie cat was initially thought up and designed on Beach Road, which is pretty cool. If you head off the beach a bit, things become slightly more modestly priced.

 Two local sailors caught the attention of surfboard manufacturer Hobie Alter when they started building a couple catamarans in their front yard. Alter reasoned he could introduce these catamarans to his existing clientele and maybe others when conditions were too windy for surfing. Designs were tested until a prototype was developed that could go through the surf, without breaking rudders and be handled by only one person. These boats were a smashing success immediately, as marinas and yacht clubs were not needed.

In the 1880’s, Capistrano Beach was known as Serra when the railroad was just heading south from LA. At the time, Serra was a part of the Rancho Boca de la Playa. A small strip of land, was sold to the railroad company for a dollar, in exchange for the tracks going through that property. Homes and other developments started in 1925, like the Capistrano Beach club. By 1929, the oil magnate Edward L. Doheney and his Petroleum Securities Company took over the Capistrano Beach development. Doheny donated 40 acres of beachfront property to California in 1931. This eventually became the Doheny State Beach.

An 1180 foot fishing pier was built out into the ocean for the general public to stroll, see and be seen as well as fish. Unfortunately, its wooden construction wasn’t meant to last. Waves roughed it up in 1964, which lead to its condemnation and ultimate demolition. Things headed downhill for a number of years in the area. Fortunes turned with Capistrano Beach joining Dana Point in 1989. .

Today, with the area’s fortunes completely reversed, Capistrano Beach is a pretty cool place. The swimming and surfing is great. Watch out for sharks this year, no? Enjoy any of the following for a beach vacation: picnic tables, toilets, and a place to get food. Parking is affordable and easy.