Capistrano Beach is situated along the coast on the southern end of Dana Point. Homes range from beach cottages to some of the finest real estate in Orange County. Many multimillion-dollar homes can be found in the area, with some situated atop a cliff overlooking Coast Highway and the Capistrano Beach park below. Several celebrities live in the town area, notably on Beach Road, where Hobie Alter conceived of his bestselling Hobie Cat catamaran. There are more modest homes in Capistrano Beach, namely older homes located off Camino Capistrano a little farther from the shore.
Originally a part of Rancho Boca de la Playa, the area now known as Capistrano Beach was known as Serra in the late 1880s when the railroad was first extending down from Los Angeles. The land was reportedly sold to the San Bernardino and San Diego Railroad company for $1. Development of Capistrano Beach started in 1925 with residential homes on the bluff. The Capistrano Beach club was built along the shore of the new development. In 1929, the Petroleum Securities Company (owned by Edward L. Doheney) became the new owners of the Capistrano Beach development. In 1931, Doheny donated over 40 acres of beach to the state, which became Doheny State Beach. During the excavation of the land during development, the bones of a mastodon (or possibly a mammoth) were discovered. A 1180 ft wood pier was built for strolling, sightseeing, and fishing. The pier was severely damaged by waves in 1964. It was condemned and closed for fishing. Demolition of the pier was started in September 1965. The Capistrano Beach club became rundown and, in the late 1960s was dismantled. Capistrano Beach became part of the city of Dana Point in 1989.