Sunset Park is a quiet neighborhood park with excellent opportunities for family playtime. The City of Dana Point completed improvements to the park in February 2008 — making it one of the more modern and safer play areas in Orange County. Expect beach weather with marine layer or fog in the mornings, clearing to bright beautiful afternoons.
Location: This feels more like San Clemente or Capo Beach – but it’s in Dana Point between the Beach Cities/Camino Las Ramblas exit and Camino De Estrella on the east side of the 5 freeway. A little tricky to find because it’s located in a quaint neighborhood with one way streets. If you choose the Beach Cities exit, head away from the ocean from the off-ramp, taking Camino Las Ramblas to a right on Via California, turn left at Via Velez, bear right at Calle Portola to Calle Naranja. Address: 33345 Calle Naranja, Dana Point. MAP to Sunset Park in Dana Point
- Fun play equipment at an already established park
- One of the most innovative play structures I’ve ever experienced – high off the ground but feels safe with no gaps or openings for kids to fall
- Especially good for kids 3 and older who can climb and be trusted going down the slides by themselves
- Small boulders built into the hardscape for climbing and pretend
- Variety of slide styles (bumpy, tunnel, short, long, tandem)
- Parking may be the #1 deficit to this park. There is limited street parking on a one way street, but it is in a bike lane. No dedicated parking lot, but also not ever very busy. It feels distant from the play area when you need to run to the car for a diaper. It’s also easy for little ones to run into the street while you’re getting organized – so don’t unbuckle them until you’re ready to go.
- With really little ones, stay away from the smaller structure. It houses lots of openings for falls – and on my visit in 2020 one of the slides was boarded off.
- The newer structure is so large and the entrances so few – you may find yourself running laps AROUND the entire structure to keep up with toddlers taking shortcuts to slides through the center
- Only real fall hazard is climbing wall and small ladder
- No baby swings
- Picnic area on a grassy hill equipped with one barbecue and 3 picnic tables
- 3 additional concrete picnic tables on play area
- Bark play surface under big kid swings
- Sand under old play structure
- Recycled rubber under new play structure
- Another small sandy area near restrooms – more like a natural sandbox
- Drinking fountain
- Restrooms just steps away from play area (can be dark on a foggy day – only lit with natural light)
- Official City of Dana Point website
- Nearest public library: San Clemente Public Library
Originally posted in July 2009.