We have been very lucky to travel as a family to many different places. We have gone to popular destinations like Disneyland and Aulani Resort and one of our favorites, Beaches Turks and Caicos. Traveling, both with our kids and without, has brought us closer together. Creating memories and learning about different cultures has so many long term benefits for everyone in our family, but there is a new travel adventure we’ve recently embarked on that has a completely different feel – boating. Discovering the ocean from the comfort from our ocean vessel has taken our love of travel to a new high that we love taking advantage of as a family. The best part is, we can learn more about Southern California and the coast of the United States while we experience this new to us form of travel.

Dana Point California Harbors to Love

Photo Credit: Amy Barseghian / LifeStyle TravelingMom

One thing is for certain – there is A LOT to learn when you buy a boat.  Just keeping it afloat is one thing but traveling in a boat is another.  As I have been researching and learning for our family I figured it only made sense to share the information with our fellow TravelingMom readers.  So as we venture up the coast of California, these are the California harbors we can choose from – and you can, too.

Dana Point

Dana Point Harbor has been given the title of one of the most romantic places in California. Docking here has given my relationship with my husband and each of our children new life on the waters.  It is our home harbor and very special to us.

California Harbors Boating Travel List


The Balboa Peninsula is located between LA and San Diego and is one of the largest recreational harbors in the world known as Newport Harbor. The “Riviera of The West” is a very fun place for the whole family.


If you’re looking to bring your family to experience the palm tree lined image of California living that’s so popular than Oceanside Harbor is where you want to go. Surf, shopping, dining and all things water sports are readily available for everyone to enjoy.

San Diego

Docking at San Diego harbor has given us a new perspective on San Diego. We love taking our kids on a walk down the Embarcadero to see the Star of India which is the oldest active sailing ship in the world.

King Harbor

King Harbor has many different clubs you can join to gain access to some of the best services in the area. If joining a club is not what you’re looking for you can still enjoy stand up paddle boarding or restaurants.

King Harbor California Harbors

Photo Credit: King Harbor

Marina Del Rey

The harbor at Marina Del Rey allows for easy access for everyone to get to and from the water. We like to bring our bicycles with us so we can ride as a family along the coastal bike trails and picnic in one of the many seaside parks.

Channel Islands Harbor

Make the scenic Channel Islands a backdrop to your next date night like we do at the Channel Islands Harbor. Countless restaurants all along the wharf make for an amazingly romantic time.

Halfmoon Bay California Harbors

Photo Credit: Spring Mountain Gallery

Pillar Point Harbor

SoCal has some amazing harbors but Northern California has a few great spots as well and Pillar Point Harbor is one of them. Located in Half Moon Bay south of San Francisco, and is an amazing place to buy crab right from the fisherman who just caught it.

Noyo Harbor

On the south end of Fort Bragg sits Noyo Harbor. While this harbor has a very industrial feel, we love it for the amazing seafood restaurants that are very close to the harbor.

Marina Village Harbor

If you want great views of both Oakland and San Francisco than the Marina Village Harbor in Alameda is the perfect spot.  There are plenty of beaches and walking trails that make for some great pictures as well as shopping and dining nearby.

Regardless of where our boating adventures take us, the love of travel is central to them and that love carries us far.