Dana Point isn’t known for busy bars like it’s Orange County counterparts, but that’s what makes evening cocktails so much better. Dana Point’s local restaurants create spaces where guests can actually enjoy a drink, supplemented by amazing views and conversation. Sip and savor by the water or underneath the lights of the lantern streets. From classic margaritas, fruity martinis, and even bacon-inspired concoctions, there's no shortage of well-crafted cocktails in this city. We’ve lined up the best places to enjoy a cocktail, so whether toasting to a new home, marking a milestone, or reveling in the coastal lifestyle, you’ll know where to celebrate - Dana Point style.
180blu at the Ritz Carlton
Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel
What better place to unwind from the week than overlooking the Pacific? Feel as if you’ve entered a palace on the rounded marble balcony of 180blu at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. With shores of Strands and Salt Creek on either side of you, there’s no better view than the patio of 180blu for handcrafted cocktails and lite bites. Lush lounge seating, cozy fire pits, and live music set the scene for a memorable evening. Toast with specialty cocktails like the OC Martini, Bourbon Berry Lemonade, or even a glass of red wine.
One Ritz Carlton Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629
Photo courtesy of Craft House
Since 2016 Craft House has served award winning coastal cuisine. Always evolving, Chef Blake Mellgren leads his team in craftsmanship both in the kitchen and behind the bar, which is stocked with over 160 premium whiskeys! For a unique drink, order the Nate’s Old Fashioned. This savory sip boasts of Bacon-washed rye whisky, Angostura bitters, and maple syrup. African teak flooring and hanging string lights create the perfect setting for grabbing a drink with friends on Craft’s House outdoor patio.
34094 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629
Luxe Restaurant and World Famous Martini Bar
Photo courtesy of Luxe Restaurant
If you're a martini lover, Luxe Restaurant and World Famous Martini Bar has the cocktail for you! Enjoy authentic Italian in a casual fine dining atmosphere. Live music fills the air of their cozy heated patio on Wednesday and Thursday nights. As far as the drinks go, Luxe Restaurant has a cocktail for everyone. Their line up includes refreshing cucumber martinis, fruity concoctions, and even spicy elixirs. Delight in happy hour specials Tuesday through Sunday from 3-5 PM or come for a night cap. Luxe’s Espresso Martini with vanilla vodka pairs perfectly with caramel beignets.
24582 Del Prado Ave, Dana Point, CA 92629
Photo Courtesy of Whitestone
Whitestone restaurant invites you to sip in elegance right off Pacific Coast Highway. Soft lighting and natural wood create a lavish ambiance for all night happy hour. From 4:30 to close, enjoy $10 drinks at the bar. The Whitestone Margarita is a must-try! Pineapple infused tequila, habanero chili, mango purée, and citrus make for a refreshing tropical twist. Happy Hour bites are equally as compelling. Indulge in Executive Chef Anthony Celeste’s thoughtfully curated fare including sustainable sourced calamari and short rib baos.
34212 Pacific Coast HWY, Unit A, Dana Point, CA 92629
Photo courtesy of Glasspar
Sitting across from Dana Point Harbor, you’ll find a fresh oyster bar and selection of colorful cocktails that are as heavenly as they look. Glasspar’s lux and moody interior is perfectly fitting for date night drinks. Bartenders craft classics like Mai Tais and Daiquiris, but house specialities are where Glasspar’s commitment to creativity steals the show. The G3’s lavish purple hue comes from Empress 1908 Gin, lavender syrup, lime, and meringue. This creamy cup is perfect when 5 PM rolls around or Sunday brunch pairings.
24961 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629
Photo courtesy of Coastal Kitchen
Coastal Kitchen has been loved by locals since the 1920s. Located in the lantern district, this casual hot spot has become a family friendly hub. The nautical-inspired interior gives tribute to the nearby harbor, while the outdoor patio works perfectly for a laid back lunch with friends. Start with Coastal Kitchen’s award winning crab cakes and a perfectly refreshing Paloma Martini before trying more of the coastal cuisine. You can’t go wrong with a classic Lemon Drop or Aperol Spritz either!
34091 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA 92629
Turks Dana Wharf
Photo courtesy of Turks Dana Wharf
We couldn’t list off the best places to get cocktails in Dana Point without choosing a spot on the city’s beloved harbor. With the closing of Waterman’s and Harbor Grill, it’s more important than ever to support local restaurants that make a night on the marina so special. Walk along the water for sunset, then find yourself a cozy both at Turks Dana Wharf for an evening cocktail or two. Family owned, Turks pays tribute to the original owner with nostalgic fisherman decor and American classics.
34683 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92626