Monarch Beach, a neighborhood in Dana Point, California, is a popular place to live for those who want to experience a luxury lifestyle. This guard-gated community provides high-end amenities like usage of clubhouses and discounts on beach facilities and restaurants as well as spectacular views of the ocean, nearby parks, and ultra-luxury homes. Whether you already live in the area, are planning to relocate, or are just visiting, you’ll want to do the best things to do in Monarch Beach so you can best take advantage of your time.
Visit one of the two luxury resorts
Monarch Beach has two high-end resorts: Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club
and the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. The Waldorf, known previously as Monarch Beach Resort, sits on a 150-foot bluff and sprawls over 175 acres. It has a private beach club, seven restaurants, a luxury spa, a golf course, pools, and onsite boutique shopping.
also has lovely panoramic views of the ocean and beach, along with nine dining options, luxury fashion services, and an ocean-inspired spa. If you live in the Monarch Beach community, you will have access to the Beach Club and restaurants at the Waldorf Astoria. The restaurants at The Ritz-Carlton are open to the public.
Relax on Salt Creek Beach
A popular surfing location, Salt Creek Beach
is also the perfect place to explore tidepools, bodysurf, swim, or just relax. The beach has restroom facilities and outdoor showers as well as a concession stand that is open during the spring and summer for beach supplies and quick bites and snacks. If you want to be a little more active, you can take part in beach volleyball or play some hoops at the basketball court once it has been reopened after renovations.
Go on a whale-watching safari
There’s nothing more magnificent than getting a glimpse of a whale, school of dolphins, or herd of sea lions. That’s exactly what you’ll get when you go on one of Captain Dave’s Dana Point Dolphin & Whale Watching Safaris
. Experiences are offered year-round and range from cruises in boats with underwater glass viewing pods to zodiac-style boats and private charters. If it’s always been your dream to get up close and personal with a blue whale or see eye-to-eye with a dolphin, this experience is for you!
Enjoy a delicious meal
If you’re a foodie, you have plenty of options when it comes to delicious dining in and around Monarch Beach! In addition to the gourmet offerings at the two resorts, there are also fantastic choices for dining at any time of day in Dana Point. Hit Craft House Bar & Grill
for some BBQ shrimp with herbed polenta or grilled meatloaf in their backyard dining space, reserve a table at Glasspar
for fresh seafood or seared Maple Leaf Farms duck breast, or enjoy some of the best sushi in California at Gen Kai
If you’re looking for breakfast and brunch to start your day off right, head over to RJ’s Cafe
for breakfast all day long. You simply can’t go wrong with one of their enormous omelets or chorizo and eggs. Proud Mary’s
is another standout spot where you can enjoy a breakfast sandwich or eggs florentine while looking out over the water.
Take an outdoor yoga class
Is there anything more southern California than taking an outdoor yoga class? Embrace your inner calm by heading to Lantern Bay Park for yoga hosted by IHeartYoga
. If you’re an early riser, head to the park for the daily 8:30-10 am class or drop in for sunset yoga every Monday through Thursday at 5:30. The class is free for IHeartYoga members and only $10 for drop-ins. Book your spot early and don’t forget your yoga mat!
Hit a happy hour
Enjoying a drink while feeling the ocean breeze is one of the best things to do in Monarch Bay. Fortunately, there are plenty of fantastic happy hours nearby. Swing over to Luxe
for happy hour every Wednesday through Friday from 3-5 pm or until 6 pm at the bar or on weekends from 12 pm to 5 pm (6 at the bar). You can get small bites like ahi poke or half a Toscano flatbread along with specials on wine, beer, and cocktails. Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
is another hotspot with happy hour specials on wines by the glass and local brews as well as snacks like onion rings and dueling dips (pimento cheese, roasted corn, and poblano guacamole served with chips). Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3-6 pm. Another fun happy hour spot is Hennessey’s
. They feature happy hour every Monday through Friday from 4-7 pm and serve jumbo house wines and Lagunitas drafts, beer and shot combos, and several $7 snacks.
Explore the harbor
Dana Point Harbor
is an attraction for tourists from around the country. Not only can you dine at one of the many restaurants overlooking the harbor, but you can also shop, walk the pathways and look at all the boats, or book a whale-watching tour or sailing experience. The harbor is also the place to be for exciting events like the Dana Wharf Live Music Harbor Cruise Series, art shows, and holiday experiences like the Halloween Sing-a-Long, holiday lights displays, and Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, and boat parades.
Find your home in Monarch Beach
Residents of Dana Point as well as tourists and those who are looking to relocate will find plenty of things to do in Monarch Beach. From getting up close and personal with marine life to dining on fresh seafood to taking it easy with an outdoor yoga class, you’ll never be far from an activity in this popular community.
Ready to make Monarch Beach your home but don’t yet have a real estate agent? Reach out to experienced local agent Andrea Ballesteros
. She can help you find the perfect house and be by your side during the entire home-buying process.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock