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Ocean Institute
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The Ocean Institute has become nationally known for its hands-on marine science, environmental and ocean education and maritime history programs. More than 115,000 K-12 students and 8,000 teachers annually participate in the Institute's 61 award-winning, immersion style programs. To learn about ocean facts, sea creatures, oceanography, science, and California history, students voyage onto the ocean, study in labs and live aboard tall ships or in the chaparral, where they can feel and taste the salty sea spray, sort through live specimens, observe migrating whales on our Dana Point whale watch cruises, collect scientific data and investigate the culture and world around them. On weekends, we open our doors to the public for a sneak peek into how ocean science, history, and literature are used to inspire life-long learners! We welcome you to come explore our world and plan your next visit to the Institute.

Recent Whale Sightings
October was a spectacular month for whale sightings. In addition to some of the common marine mammals that we see on our coast, Ocean Institute visitors have been lucky enough to see a variety of other species.


October 22 to 25 – Humpback Whales


October 17 – Pilot Whales


October 6 – Sperm WhalesFlash FLV Embed by VideoLightBox.com v2.7m


Marine Mammal Cruises

Weekends in November & December

Journey to sea with Ocean Institute scientists and they'll introduce you to the local marine wildlife; including an astounding variety of fish, microscopic plankton, and the animals that live in sediment retrieved from the ocean floor. Encounter a pod of playful dolphin or a passing whale!
More Info >


Field Trips at the Ocean Institute

It’s time to let us do the teaching! Whether it’s investigating the digestive system of a mackerel, hiking through a new ecosystem, setting sail on the high seas, traveling through California history or becoming a marine biologist onboard a research vessel, the Ocean Institute has a program for YOU!
Click here for more info.

Thank You Ocean
Weekends in November & December
10am – 3pm

The ocean provides a vast array of resources for humans and this is your opportunity to understand in greater detail just what these resources are. Learn about our own native treasures in Southern California, from marine resources to unique plants and animals on the coast. Make your own cards for the holidays and show your appreciation and gratefulness for Earth’s gifts.

Activities are included with weekend admission.
More Info >

Featured Events & Updates

Public Visiting Hours
Saturday and Sunday 10 AM - 3:00 PM
Members are FREE

Click here for Fees and More Info

View Full Calendar of Events >

Fall Flyer >


Weekends in November
Thank You Ocean – Special activities included with weekend admission
More Info >

Saturday, November 8
Laguna Beach Million Dollar Home Raffle – Final Drawing; 12pm – 2pm
More Info >

Sunday, November 9
Veterans’ Day Celebration
More info >

Sunday, November 16
Facility & Weekend Program will be closed due to a special event.
More info >


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