Three decades as a successful Southern California Catering Firm takes hard work, dedication, and a superstar staff. But that’s only part of the equation. Venue relationships have always been integral to our success, and we value those symbiotic partnerships that help all of us to to thrive. With those relationships in mind, we are honoring our venue partners with a blog feature called “Venue Spotlight”. Our first is one of our favorite Orange County Venues, The Ocean Institute in Dana Point. This magnificent property sits on the picturesque Dana Point Harbor, and is an ocean education center that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime History and Outdoor Education programs. For our clients who wish to host an event in a private venue with the ocean as their backdrop this venue delights every time. Event Producer Pam Aki asked Nicole Nims, Facility Rental Associate a few questions about her venue, and we loved her responses:

What is the history of your venue? The Ocean Institute, founded in 1977, is a community-based 501 (c) 3 organization that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime History and Outdoor Education programs. The facility includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, two historic tallships, an oceanographic research vessel, and a beautiful event space.

How many guests can you accommodate?  Due to multiple event spaces our facility can accommodate between 20-220 with facility provided equipment. With additional rented equipment we can accommodate up to 300.

Do you provide In-House Catering? We do not provide in-house catering, however, we provide a comprehensive list of distinguished catering companies we recommend, including Summit Event Catering.

Is parking provided on-site? We have our own parking lot that can accommodate 100 cars as well as 2 adjacent public parking lots which provides ample parking for your event.

Do you book more than one event per day? How will that affect my event? Due to the nature of our facility it is possible to host multiple events which has never proved troublesome because of the communication between the venue, vendors and clients.

What is your favorite feature of your venue? Warming yourself by our gorgeous fire pit as you watch an ocean sunset surrounded by family and friends.

Give us the top three reasons why couples should book your venue for their wedding/reception.

    1. Create a custom wedding of your dreams with our breathtaking ocean backdrop.
    2. Give your guest an educational experience with our Discovery Pool touch-tanks where they can learn about local species.
    3. Give your wedding a nautical flare with our majestic Tallships.

Thank you for sharing the attributes of your venue with us Nicole. We love the venue also and look forward to a continued partnership together. If you’re looking for a beautiful nautical venue with history, charm, and stunning views, please reach out to our Event Producer Pamela Aki. She’ll be happy to arrange a tour for you and provide you with a stellar menu for your consideration.