Dana Point, California 92629
We'd love it if you would mention that you found Chart House Dana Point on the Here Comes The Guide website.
Why We Like This Place
If ever there was a “Wait, there’s more!” venue in Here Comes The Guide, Dana Point’s Chart House has to be one of them. Start with the restaurant’s show-stopping vista, a sensational hillside view of Dana Point Harbor, its long breakwater and the Pacific beyond. High palisades rise to the east, topped with luxurious homes, then drop down to an inviting, leafy shoreside park. Boats of all kinds are constantly arriving and departing, and two sleek twin-masted sailing ships moor at the bottom of the hill. This is easily one of the best sea views in Orange County. So naturally the long, carefully manicured ceremony lawn that overlooks it is one of the most dramatic wedding sites in all of the Southland.
With a panorama this incredible, it would be a shame to limit the lawn to ceremonies. Fortunately, it doubles as a spot for “California luau” dinners, which feature tiki torches and buffet food. News about the appealingly informal parties has gotten around—some nearby upscale resorts often send wedding parties here for their rehearsal dinners. They know that casual dining overlooking a great view is just the thing to soothe pre-wedding jitters.
There’s more! Chart House, a modernistic building of three interconnected circular spaces called “pods,” is the design of architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, a student of the great Frank Lloyd Wright. Completed in the late 1970s, the building beautifully melds rough-textured concrete, redwood, steel and glass into a memorable configuration. It’s very much in the style of Wright, with its creative use of curves and materials, as well as its exterior palette of rust-red wood and light blue steel.
Inside, a harmonious medley of light gray concrete, 62 miles of bent redwood formed into concentric circles on the ceilings, and seeming acres of windows create a striking interior. Almost every seat in the house has a view. All of the booths in the restaurant’s three pods have plush leather cushions and backrests with subdued, but playful, abstract patterns. Pod 1 has a built-in dance floor and stage—perfect for a head table—plus the magnificent harbor view. (Delicate cornflowerblue mood lights are suspended from its coiled redwood ceiling—a sweet little touch.) Pod 2 has a grand staircase descending from the restaurant’s entry tower, as well as a wine cellar and dining booths. Pod 3, which affords direct access to the patio, has a long bar and an intriguing Art Deco/1950s look.
Still more! Besides a terrific location and singular architectural style, Chart House has another great thing going for it: an experienced kitchen staff that has garnered a devoted clientele over almost three decades. That kitchen is one of the reasons why Chart House attracts dozens of daytime wedding receptions each year. Couples also like having the whole venue to themselves throughout their event.
From the road, Chart House is almost hidden. You see its signature view before you see its redwood entry tower, and you see the tower before you see the restaurant itself. That slow unfolding of delights is this place’s greatest strength and its greatest charm.
Prices: What's this going to cost?
Meals (when priced separately)
Plated meals and buffets are available.
Food & beverage minimums may apply to specific times, days, and rooms.
- Max. Seated Indoors: 0
- Max. Seated Outdoors: 220
- Max. Seated Indoors: 200
- Max. Seated Outdoors: 80
- Max. Standing/Cocktails Indoors: 200
- Max. Standing/Cocktails Outdoors: 80
- Max. Seated: 200
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The facility accommodates 220 seated guests outdoors.
EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: The site holds 200 seated or standing guests indoors and 80 seated or standing outdoors.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: in-house, no BYO
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: provided
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: provided
Bride’s & Groom’s Dressing Area: no
AV/Meeting Equipment: some provided, BYO
Parking: on street, large lot, valet required
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: CBA
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
View: coastline, Dana Point harbor, landscaped grounds
Other: event coordination
Venue TypeAll-inclusive Wedding Packages
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: in-house, no BYO
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: not required
Alternate Info: Chart House Restaurant Dana Point