The Best Areas to Live in Dana Point, CA: Top Neighborhoods Ranked!

Dana Point, nestled along the beautiful coastline of Orange County, California, offers a variety of neighborhoods, each with its unique charm and appeal.

Here’s a detailed look at some of the best areas to live in Dana Point, taking into account aspects like lifestyle, amenities, and the overall environment.

jetty in Dana Point
View of the beautiful jetty in Dana Point

Top Neighborhoods to Live in Dana Point

Dana Point, situated near Irvine, boasts a population of 33,327 and offers an appealing lifestyle in Orange County, California. It’s highly regarded as one of the finest places to reside in the state. The living experience in Dana Point is characterized by a dense suburban atmosphere, with the majority of residents owning their homes.

Dana Point near the jetty
Dana Point near the jetty

This area is vibrant with numerous restaurants, cafes, and parks, contributing to its appeal among young professionals and retirees. The local community in Dana Point generally leans towards conservative values.

The median house price in Dana Point is notably high at $1,166,262. This figure is significantly above the average home price in California, which stands at $648,235. The most sought-after neighborhoods in Dana Point, which often attract residents due to their lower crime rates and higher living standards, are also the areas with the highest median home values.

Sunset at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point
Sunset at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point

These neighborhoods are not only popular for their quality of life but also represent the top choices in the real estate market in Dana Point, CA.

Paddleboarding in Dana Point Harbor
Paddleboarding in Dana Point Harbor

Capistrano Beach

Known for its breathtaking ocean views, Capistrano Beach is a sought-after community within Dana Point. It offers a diverse range of homes, from quaint seaside cottages to larger estates. The location is ideal for enjoying the surrounding areas of San Clemente and Dana Point, offering plenty of activities and scenic spots.

Monarch Beach

This private gated community, positioned between Laguna Beach and Dana Point Harbor, is celebrated for its natural surroundings and security. Residents here enjoy exclusive access to the Monarch Bay Beach Club and first-class beach services. Its proximity to Salt Creek Beach and several luxury hotels like the St. Regis and the Ritz Carlton adds to its allure.

Christmas Lights at Dana Point Harbor CA
Christmas Lights at Dana Point Harbor

Ritz Pointe

Adjacent to the Monarch Beach Golf Links, Ritz Pointe is a gated community known for its golf course and close proximity to beautiful beaches. The neighborhood offers easy access to walking trails, parks, bike paths, and is conveniently located near the Pacific Coast Highway.

Dana Hills

This area encompasses several small neighborhoods and is known for its parks and outdoor spaces like Dana Crest Park and Sea Canyon Park. Dana Hills High School, a highly rated educational institution, is also located here, making it a great choice for families.

Christmas lights at Dana Point Harbor
Christmas lights at Dana Point Harbor

Emerald Ridge

Sitting on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Emerald Ridge offers a serene and lush environment. It features a gated entrance and is moments away from the beach. The neighborhood is also close to downtown Dana Point, known for its fine dining and shopping.

Lantern Village

This area is characterized by its vibrant atmosphere and is close to Dana Point Harbor. Lantern Village offers a mix of residential options and is popular for its local shops, restaurants, and accessibility to beaches.

Niguel Shores

Offering scenic living with amenities like tennis courts, a pool, and beach access, Niguel Shores is ideal for those seeking an active and luxurious lifestyle. The community also has a clubhouse and is close to the Pacific Coast Highway.

Baby beach in Dana Point
Baby Beach in Dana Point

The Strand at Headlands

Known for its luxury homes and stunning oceanfront views, The Strand at Headlands is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Dana Point. It offers direct beach access and is close to Dana Point Harbor, providing an upscale living experience.

Dana Point Harbor

While not a residential neighborhood, Dana Point Harbor is a significant area known for its recreational activities, including sport fishing, walking, bicycling, and shopping. The harbor area is a focal point of the city and contributes to the overall appeal of living in Dana Point.

Dana Point Baby Beach
Baby Beach in Dana Point

In terms of safety and quality of life, Dana Point scores well. The city has a crime rate lower than the national average and is known for its diversity and high education levels among residents. The local public schools are highly rated, providing excellent education options. Additionally, Dana Point’s weather, nature, and water sports opportunities make it a great choice for those looking to settle in a peaceful and harmonious community.

Paddleboarding in Dana Point
Paddleboarding in Dana Point

Crime Rate in Dana Point, CA

In 2020, the crime rate in Dana Point, California, was recorded at 93 according to the City-Data.com crime index. This rate is considerably lower than the national average, being 2.7 times smaller. Comparatively, Dana Point’s crime rate was higher than 47.2% of cities in the United States. There was a slight increase of 1% in the crime rate from 2019 to 2020. Over the past five years, Dana Point has experienced a decrease in both violent and property crimes.

Safest Dana Point neighborhoods:

NeighborhoodDescription
Bal Harbour / Dana KnollsKnown for its safety and quiet environment
Niguel Shores / Monarch BeachOffers a mix of luxury living and security
EncantamarA peaceful area with modern amenities
Dana Hills / Tennis VillasFamily-friendly with parks and recreational spaces
Capistrano BeachOffers a blend of beach lifestyle and safety
Dana Point HarborCentral area with recreational activities, safer than many other neighborhoods

Transportation and Accessibility

Road Access: Dana Point is conveniently located along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), providing easy access to other coastal cities like Laguna Beach and San Clemente. Interstate 5 is also nearby, offering a direct route to major destinations in Southern California.

Public Transportation: The city is served by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), which provides bus services connecting Dana Point to various parts of Orange County. For those looking to travel further, the Metrolink train service is available at the nearby San Juan Capistrano station, offering convenient connections to Los Angeles, San Diego, and other regions.

Walkability and Biking: Many areas in Dana Point are pedestrian-friendly, especially around the Harbor and the Lantern District. The city also encourages biking, with several bike paths and trails offering scenic routes along the coastline and through neighborhoods.

Dana Point stands out as one of California’s most sought-after living destinations. The high real estate values reflect the quality and desirability of the area, making it a prime choice for those seeking a harmonious blend of natural beauty and community spirit.

me on the beach
About the author

Hi, I'm Kat, the adventurous spirit behind TasteCaliforniaTravel, your guide to the hidden wonders of California. Having called California home for the last 15 years, I am thrilled to take you along on my journey and share the adventures that this incredible state has to offer.

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