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5 Best Neighborhoods to Live in Dana Point

Relish waking up to vibrant coastal views and mild mornings in Dana Point. This surfing area was popularized as "the only romantic spot on the coast" in Richard Henry Dana, Jr.'s book Two Years Before the Mast. There are breathtaking views of the coves, bluffs, and high waves across the coastal community, and residents will find plenty of boutique shopping, fine dining, and nature centers that conserve southern California nature. Whether you want to see Catalina Island out your window on clear days or live right along the edge of the Monarch Beach Golf Links, a beautiful home awaits you in Dana Point. Learn more about these in-demand neighborhoods in Dana Point, or start your search with Mike Johnson as your in-person real estate guide.

1. Capistrano Beach

This exclusive neighborhood, stretching along the southern edge of Dana Point, sits right up against the coastline of Capistrano Bight. Residents can admire local attractions like the Doheny State Beach, Capistrano Beach Park, and Shorecliffs Golf Club. The homes sit right on the right, so you never have to walk far to appreciate the beach or the natural parks scattered across the neighborhood. You can conveniently shop in the Outlets at San Clemente and nearby boutiques. Homes come in a wide range of mid-century architectural styles, with big windows, chic features, and beautiful landscaping.

What to do in Capistrano Beach

Spend a sunny day at Doheny State Beach, a popular surfing destination. This beach is unique for its fresh-water lagoon, a small oasis that flows out of San Juan Creek before joining the Pacific Ocean. Experience a perfect paradise for birdwatchers, campers, and beach lovers. Relax in a variety of sea life, tide pools, and ample space to sunbathe.

Visitors and residents will love seeing the long stretches of Capistrano Beach Park, taking part in frequent events at Lantern Bay Park, and even whale watching.

Where to eat in Capistrano Beach

Experience Capistrano Beach's vibrant dining scene with fresh seafood and a marine aesthetic. Sip on expertly crafted tropical cocktails at the iconic Sunsets Bar. Pick up a quick and delicious poke bowl at Kawamata Seafood, or celebrate a special occasion at Harvest, a fine dining establishment that celebrates organic farming.

2. Dana Hills

Dana Hills sits further from the coastline, giving residents easy access to roads, parks, and golf courses. Discover a variety of stunning properties in this charming neighborhood, from grand estates surrounded by majestic palm trees to cozy homes boasting classic Spanish Revival designs. If you're looking for modern luxury, you'll find chic homes with high-end amenities. With so many options, you're sure to find a home that you'll adore for years to come.

What to do in Dana Hills

Find a peaceful routine in the suburbs within Dana Hills. There are beautiful walking and biking trails throughout Sea Canyon Park and Dana Woods Park. Have fun with a pickup game of tennis at the Dana Hills Tennis Center, or watch a new release at the Cinepolis on Golden Lantern. Dana Hills offers plenty of leisurely recreation and shopping.

Where to eat in Dana Hills

Everything from casual eateries to fine dining is available in Dana Hills. You can stop for sushi at Dana Kai in Niguel Street, savor a classic cheeseburger at The Habit Burger Grill, or meet up with friends for a delicious coffee or glass of wine with friends at Project Social.

3. Emerald Ridge

Consider homes in the private Emerald Ridge community for dramatic hilltop views across your private oasis. Come home to a peaceful neighborhood. Bask in the lush landscaping and architectural styles that blend the indoors and outdoors. This way, you can feel the Mediterranean climate and exclusive community amenities.

What to do in Emerald Ridge

This exclusive resort-style neighborhood gives you easy access to all the attractions and activities at the Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area. Residents can also visit the Thousand Steps Sea Cave up the coast, unwind in local spas and wellness attractions, and golf at the nearby Monarch Beach Golf Links.

Where to eat in Emerald Ridge

Emerald Ridge exits out to the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. Enjoy a quick drive to dining experiences like the Salt Creek Grille with classic American seafood and meat entrees, or visit Stella's for a quiet dinner of five-star Italian dishes. Residents can also head north to Laguna Beach for Neapolitan pizza at the NEApolitan Pizzeria and Birreria.

4. Monarch Beach

Monarch Beach is one of the most in-demand beaches in the Dana Point area. It's named after the iconic Monarch Bay, which used to be the destination for tens of thousands of monarch butterflies. Today, the beach offers bright, sunny views of the Pacific Ocean and is just steps away from the Monarch Beach Resort and Links Course. Two popular neighborhoods along Monarch Beach are Monarch Bay, an exclusive gated community that offers a private beach and plenty of nature, and Monarch Bay Terrace, a prestigious community that gives its residents the best views of Catalina Island and access to Dana Point's most popular beachside attractions.

What to do around Monarch Beach

The neighborhoods around Monarch Beach are well-known for their easy access to the Monarch Beach Golf Links. Spend your days honing your game or enjoying this world-class course. Residents can also have calm, leisurely days at Salt Creek Beach Park.

Where to eat around Monarch Beach

Living around Monarch Beach puts you near fine-dining establishments like the Monarch Bay Beach Club and Coastal Kitchen. Both offer luxurious outdoor dining spaces, delicious meals, and beautiful views of the surrounding scenery and architecture.

5. Ritz Pointe

If you love golfing, make sure Ritz Pointe is high on your list of neighborhoods to consider. How wonderful it would be to reside in this neighborhood, where your backyard offers a stunning view of the Monarch Beach Golf Links course, and a mere stroll away, you’ll find majestic ocean waves. It is an idyllic setting for anyone seeking a serene and picturesque lifestyle. This community is built for outdoor recreation, including walking, jogging, biking, and more.

Reach out to Mike Johnson Group to find your Dana Point home

Dana Point is a vibrant beachside community that gives its residents luxurious private beaches, breathtaking views of the Pacific, and access to incomparable golfing and recreational amenities. The Mike Johnson Group can guide you through the neighborhoods in Dana Point and exclusive communities so you find your dream home within an easy walk of all your favorite parts of Dana Point. Reach out today to start your custom home search experience.

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Locally, nationally and internationally - we've got you covered. Our deep roots on the coast mean The Mike Johnson Group know the nuances of beach neighborhoods. Our sterling reputation among our fellow agents mean we are privy to the insider information on which our market now moves.
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