General Admission

Overview

General Admission
Headlands & Beyond: A Guided Exploration

Discover the ocean’s underwater world and California’s fascinating maritime history through fun, interactive tours and activities that indulge your curiosity.

Public Programs Brochure

Education Brochure

Weekday Offerings

Monday-Friday

Join us for a 30-minute guided tour with one of our expert guides and get a behind the scenes view of one of our learning centers, historic ships, or the dockside Maddie James Seaside Learning Center. 

Headlands and Beyond exhibit area is included with tours featuring an intertidal touch tank, artifact displays, pop-up experiments, and children’s playscape. 

Tour Times:

Monday – Friday- 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm

* Tours and tour times may vary based on facility availability.  Last admission for all tours stops 10 minutes prior to each tour time.  Call for the current day’s tour offerings. 

Tour Tickets:

*Purchase tickets on site 

Tour ticket: $5.00 per person
Day Pass (2 or more tours): $7.00 per person

Groups of 10 or more: Please call ahead to arrange your visit. We offer private tours of our labs and ships but only if arranged in advance. Please contact our reservations department at (949) 496-2274 or email us at oi@oceaninstitute.org. 

Weekend & Holiday Offerings

Saturday, Sunday and select Holidays

On weekends, we open the campus and welcome you to explore our site-wide, immersive journey into the mysteries of the Pacific Ocean. Come and learn all about Moon Jellies, encounter live animals in our Discovery Pool touch-tank, join in animal feedings, and even conduct squid dissections if you’re adventurous!

*Purchase tickets on site 

Admission: 

$7.50 for Children
$10.00 for Adults

Facilities open: Headlands & Beyond exhibit, tide pool playscape, all labs inside the Ocean Education Center, and the Brig Pilgrim.* 

*Tours of the Brig Pilgrim are offered on Sundays during regular admission hours. 

Event

Harbor Walking Tour
Explore the beauty and history of Dana Point Harbor

Join us for a walking tour around the beautiful and historic Dana Point Harbor. This family friendly tour teaches about the history and development of the harbor, from Native Americans to the recreational harbor we have today. On the tour you will explore historical ruins with our expert guides who will teach you how to spot local marine animals along the way. 

Event

Behind the Seas
Aquarist Experience

Explore behind the scenes! Tours offer the opportunity to see firsthand how our aquarists care for our animal inhabitants, including the engineering of our filtration system and habitats. Help our aquarists identify the animals we find right beneath the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center and learn more about our acquisition process. Additionally, guests will get the exclusive opportunity to prepare food and feed our animals. 

Event

Public Tidepool Hikes
Explore the world between tides!

Join the Ocean Institute for a tidepool hike led by one of our expert naturalists.