There are so many places to visit in Southern California it’s almost impossible to do it all even if you live here. It’s exciting to have a new amusement. IlluminOcean is holiday, ocean-themed light sculpture. You could call it art. It’s impressive.

Lights follow along a band of what looks like metal or a sturdy, pliable plastic. It’s dark so all you see are lights in the shape of whales, a crab with a Santa hat, a mermaid and a ship. Walk through the ship or stand in the middle for a photo op. Someone had a map and I think another used an app with a map of the sculptures. We followed along the boardwalk and went willy nilly and found the attraction easy to follow.


A sultry female voice singing Rhianna drifts over the water from one of the boats. Every year Captain Dave takes part in the Boat Parade of Lights. The boats can be seen from the boardwalk, but it would be more fun to take the boat ride. Tickets sell fast for $25. Buy two weeks ahead of time. You will get double the lights with the boats and the sculptures on the harbor. This event has already past, but Dana Point has it every year for two weekends in December.

The restaurants in Dana Point are good too. Try Thai This, Peking Dragon or The Coffee Importers for breakfast and lunch.

The resorts in Dana Point are sponsoring IlluminOcean from November 26, 2014 through January 5, 2015. The address The Ritz-Carlton gives is maybe a little off. Go further down Dana Point Harbor and park in the shopping area in the embarcadero off Puerto Place. Hours are Sun. – Thurs. 5-10pm, Fri.-Sat. 5-11pm. And IlluminOcean is free! By 10pm on a Saturday night almost no one is there.

IlluminOcean, 34415 Park Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629.