The Ocean Institute at Dana Point, California is a nationally known location for marine science education and maritime history programs. Roughly 110,000 students come to the institute per year to learn about ecology, biology, and other marine topics. There are labs for study, as well as some tall ships. Some of the facilities include an ecology learning center and children's theater, Folino Center for technology, Lazy- W Ranch, Marine protected area, Maritime Center, The Pilgrim, RV Sea Explorer, Spirit of Dana Point, and Surfscience Learning Center.
The RV Sea Explorer is a 70 foot marine research vessel for oceanographic study. The Spirit of Dana Point is an 118 foot topsail schooner with history and maritime adventures. The Pilgrim is a tallship, which was decommissioned in 1981 and brought to the institute for learning.
Public hours of the Ocean Institute are Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm. General admission is $6.50 for adults, $4.50 for children. Kids under 2 years old are free. If you want a behind the scenes tour it is an additional $2 per person. They are offered Thursday and Friday at 3:30pm for a 45 minute tour. The institute has a gift shop.