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Holiday Lights at Dana Point Harbor 2022

Holiday Lights at Dana Point Harbor 2022

Are you looking to find out about holiday lights at Dana Point Harbor 2022?  I feel like IlluminOcean in Dana Point Harbor made a big impression on people. It was a holiday lights extravaganza that lasted only one year (2014). IlluminOcean was, for the most part, not a static light display. Most of the lights moved or had some sort of animated features and sounds to go along with them. They even had special 3D glasses to view the show. You can see what I mean with my video of this light tunnel. The public loved it and so did the harbor businesses. Ever since that year, there are holiday lights at Dana Point Harbor that are FREE to enjoy.

Video of the 2014 IlluminOcean Light Tunnels

Dana Point Harbor Holiday Light Displays for 2022

Local dad and CEO, Bruce Brenon, of Shine Illumination comes up with new concepts every year (while keeping the old favorites)! Follow the Shine Illumination page on Facebook and follow the @shineillumination account on Instagram to get current news about their displays all over our area.

Dana Point holiday lights candy cane walkway

I won’t know the exact displays until they start shining early this month. The light display will run from November 16th, 2022 until after New Year’s.

In the past, there are static light displays that the kids will love with candy cane pillars and lighted stars hanging above. This area with starbursts overhead and the impression of snow falling is called Candy Cane Lane.

Highlights of Holiday Lights at Dana Point Harbor

It’s FREE!

Dana Point Christmas lights 2022 runs from 6pm on November 16th until after New Year’s. The lights stay on from dusk until dawn.

The candy cane light lane is a favorite. Little kids in strollers have the best view because there are features up on the “ceiling.”

Lots of the eucalyptus trees used to be lit up with green and blue along the medians and the parks that line the harbor, but they cut down the eucalyptus in 2020. Even the big tree that used to be at the roundabout in the parking lot is now gone as of 2022. (Insert sad face!)

dana point harbor holiday lights blue and green tree decorations

There’s usually a HUGE welcome light display as you come to the entrance of the harbor.

New a few years ago were some large statues which are fun for Instagram photo opps.

view of dana point harbor holiday lights happy harbor days from bluff above the harbor

In 2017, there was a shark stand over by the old Waterman’s restaurant — in 2018, there was a Candy Cane heart display.

What is Merry Kiss Me? Merry Kiss Me Dana Point 2022 is a holiday light display that appears in many, many Insta posts this time of year! Couples flock here like it is mistletoe. Take your photo and share with a #MerryKissMe hashtag. #HappyHarborDays and #HolidaysattheHarbor are the other hashtags for this spot at Dana Point Harbor this time of year.

dana point harbor holiday lights Merry Kiss Me with lighted candy canes

And the lights don’t stop there! Walk or drive down towards Baby Beach just past the Marina Inn and the harbor offices to experience light trees and my favorite wave tunnel.

The blue and white lights actually move in a way that makes you feel you are in the barrel of a crashing wave.

dana point harbor holiday lights wave tunnel

How to Visit the Dana Point Harbor Lights

How much does it cost? $0! You can see these lights for free.

Dana Point Harbor Lights 2022 Location and Directions: The Dana Point lights address is the same as Dana Point Harbor: 34571 Golden Lantern Street, Dana Point, CA. If you drive down Golden Lantern towards the harbor, you will dead end right into it. If you are taking Interstate 5, exit at Dana Point Harbor/Beach Cities and follow the signs to the harbor, making a left onto Del Obispo towards Doheny State Beach.

Free parking for holiday lights at Dana Point Harbor around the shops (if you can find it). Surprisingly, one year we went on Holiday Boat Parade night and got a spot super close with no trouble!

Hours: Come in the evening on a weeknight and you’ll probably find easy parking! Maybe bring the kids in their pajamas? The lights are on from dusk until dawn. Lights are on from November 16, 2021 until after New Year’s.

Restrooms at Dana Point Harbor are near Dana Wharf — and outside the old Harbor Grill Restaurant (just closed in Fall 2022).

dana point harbor holiday lights in planter bed

Dana Point Harbor Restaurants open for take-out. 

Coffee Importers – Espresso Bar & Scoop Deck is a great place to get a scoop of Lapperts Ice Cream or a hot cocoa. It’s open until 7pm Sun-Thurs and until 8pm on Fri/Sat.

Harpoon Henry’s has seating downstairs on their outdoor patio which would be a fun place to watch the lights come on and people walk by. They have a Happy Hour which includes some pretty yummy appetizers and entrees on M-F from 4pm-7pm. (Also get them to go!)

dana point harbor holiday lights view from outside the candy cane walkway

Be Aware

More crowds on weekends and during the Holiday Boat Parade nights.

There are signs everywhere that say “don’t touch the lights” so you might want to prep the kids ahead of time to look, but don’t touch.

dana point harbor holiday lights boat parade

Dana Point Boat Parade Information

The 2022 “Surfin’ USA” Boat Parade of Lights is scheduled for December 9th starting at 7pm and December 10th & 11th starting at 6:00pm.

Originally published in 2014.

Holiday Lights at Dana Point Harbor pinterest image