Doheny State Beach is a heavily frequented 62-acre beach preserve adjacent to Dana Point Harbor in Dana Point, California. Receiving nearly a million visitors annually, it is one of the busiest beaches in California. Every year it hosts several long-distance runs, a blues festival, and outrigger canoe and stand-up paddle boarding competitions, each attracting thousands of visitors to the sandy shore. As California’s first state beach, Doheny State Beach was created when oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny donated 21 acres in 1931, and it expanded in subsequent years to its current size.
Like many beaches in Orange County, Doheny State Beach offers a day use surf area, though the adjacent Dana Point Harbor subdues the waves here considerably. Calmer waters give beginning surfers an opportunity to develop their skills. It is also an ideal spot for stand-up paddle boarding, one of the more popular activities at Doheny State Beach, though this is restricted to certain waters.
Doheny State Beach also has a 5-acre lawn and picnic area and numerous volleyball nets. The volleyball nets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but they may also be reserved at a daily rate. Visitors can rent bikes from a rental store right on the beach. In addition, Doheny offers beachside campsites, some abutting the sand, and the campground attracts the same volume of visitors as the beach itself.