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Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point: Harbor Lights and Sunset Barbecues

Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point: Harbor Lights and Sunset Barbecues

Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point sits on a bluff overlooking Doheny State Beach (pictured), Dana Point Harbor and the coast, is a favorite for its sea breezes and proximity to the beach.

Perfect for family barbecues and larger gatherings, too.

neon green and black playground with circular sun shades and modern feel surrounded by pine trees at Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point

It’s located across from the Laguna Cliffs Marriott with its distinctive red roof.

There’s a long staircase leading from the harbor up to the park which is popular for running stairs and a yoga class that gathers on the lawn area nearby every morning.

New playground as of May 2021. I started this blog in 2008 and this is the 3rd playground I’ve covered in this same spot.

roller slide with lots of rolling cylinders to move the slider from the top of the slide to the ground

How to Get to Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point: Located off Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) near Dana Point Harbor. Del Obispo turns into Dana Point Harbor Drive when it crosses PCH. Turn right onto Park Lantern Road and follow it up the hill until it dead ends near the Laguna Cliffs Marriott where you can turn around and park facing down the road on the same side as the playground. Parking on the street if you can find it or a lot halfway down the hill. (Address: 25111 Park Lantern Road, Dana Point). MAP to Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point

sunken rose garden with view of the harbor which would be a nice place to have a wedding at Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point

Highlights:

  • Very cool even on the hottest days with a nice ocean breeze
  • It has one of those roller slides that some kids love and some kids fear
  • Neon green play structure more suitable for kids who are good climbers
  • 2 bench swings
another view of the playground with 2 bench swings visible and close up of climbing area which has black netting for vertical and horizontal movement
  • A sunken amphitheater surrounded by rose bushes – where our kids like to race or perform pretend shows
  • Doheny State Beach and Dana Point Harbor nearby
  • My family uses this park as a place for breakfast and lunch picnics or dinner barbecues
  • Sunset views are incredible from here!
peekaboo view of Doheny Beach from the bluff near the park

Be Aware:

  • Maybe an uphill walk depending on where you park
  • On top of a bluff – so keep track of tiny wanderers – don’t want them getting too close to the edge
  • There’s a donation-based “yoga in the park” class every day at 10am which might compete for parking
much closer view of the play equipment climbers at Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point

Checklist:

  • Parking on a hill or a dedicated lot is down the hill – so there can be a walk uphill to reach this park
  • Recycled rubber play surface
  • Typical beach restrooms and drinking fountains
  • Plenty of shade surrounding the park, but not much over the structure except in the mornings
  • Benches and lawn area nearby to sit while supervising the kids
  • MANY picnic tables and grills around, but not necessarily next to the play area
  • Official City of Dana Point website

Parks Nearby Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point

Originally posted in August 2010.

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