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Doheny State Beach

Doheny State Beach
Doheny State Beach
Map showing the location of Doheny State Beach
Location Orange County, California, USA
Nearest city Dana Point, California
Area 254 acres (103 ha)
Established 1931
Visitors 850,000+ (in 2007)
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Doheny State Beach is a protected beach in the state park system of California, USA, located on the Pacific Ocean in the city of Dana Point. The beach is a popular surf spot located at the mouth of San Juan Creek, which flows from the Santa Ana Mountains southwest to the beach, where it forms a fresh-water lagoon. It is also one of the most polluted beaches in Southern California.[1][2]


  • History 1
  • Recreational uses 2
  • Animal and plant life 3
  • Educational program 4
  • References in popular culture 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The beach was donated by oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny for public use on May 31, 1931. It was California's first state beach. On July 1, 1963 the beach was named Doheny State Beach in his honor. The original donation was 41 acres (17 ha). An additional 21 acres (8.5 ha) was later added by acquisitions from the Santa Fe Railroad, University of California Regents, and the Union Oil Company.[3] An additional 192 acres (78 ha) not owned by the state are included in the site's official total area.[4]

Recreational uses

The beach covers an area of 62 acres (25 ha) and includes a day use surfing beach at the northern end, as well as campgrounds in its southern area. The beach is one of California's most popular camping grounds and attracts over 850,000 people per year.[5] The beach has tide pools and a visitor center with several aquariums.

Animal and plant life

The beach is home to several types of marine life, such as abalone, anemone, several types of sea bass, crabs, the common dolphin, harbor seal, kelp, California moray, sea urchin, octopus, stingrays, several varieties of sharks (including the Great White), as well as many other marine life. Several types of birds also live at the beach such as brown pelican, great blue heron, snowy egret, and several other species.

Educational program

Doheny State Beach offers year-round interpretive education programs in marine life, bird life, animal life, water quality, insects, and Native American studies.

References in popular culture

See also


  1. ^ Rosenblatt, Susannah (2008-07-29). "L.A. County beaches score high in filth". L.A. Times (Los Angeles, Calif.). Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  2. ^ Pang, Kevin (2004-05-27). "O.C.'s Doheny Can't Shake Title of Foulest Beach". L.A. Times (Los Angeles, Calif.). Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  3. ^ a b "Doheny State Beach: 75th Anniversary". Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  4. ^ "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks. p. 28. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  5. ^ "Doheny State Beach Facts". Good Time Net. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 

External links

  • Doheny State Beach
  • Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association
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