Doheny State BeachLeave review
About Doheny State Beach
Campgrounds in Doheny
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History of Doheny State Beach
Doheny Beach takes its name from oilman Edward L. Doheny. In 1892 Doheny was
an unsuccessful silver miner living in downtown Los Angeles. He noticed an old wagon hauling brea—the Spanish word for pitch—and realized its potential as a cheap substitute for coal.
In 1893 he developed the first oil well at the La Brea Tar Pits. Doheny created a vast oil empire in Southern California and Mexico. In 1929 his only son, Ned, died in a tragic shooting. Devastated, the senior Doheny’s health suffered. Before he died in 1935, he donated 31 acres of prime beachfront to the State.
Dana Point became home to surfing legends like surfboard maker Hobie Alter and Endless Summer filmmaker Bruce Brown. As a surf spot memorialized in the Beach Boys’ hit Surfin’ USA, Doheny’s beach enjoyed spectacular pipelines and point breaks until the Dana Point harbor breakwater was built in 1966. During the summer, Doheny surf still breaks consistently.