Who We Are

International Sister Cities Program History

In 1956, President Eisenhower initiated the "People to People Program" as a conduit for "Greater International Understanding" through "direct, close and abiding communication between cities." Today, over 900 U.S. cities have established affiliations with cities worldwide. California leads the country with 188 sister cities.

The Dana Point Sister City Association is a non-profit, volunteer organization which endeavors to promote international communication, understanding, education and friendship between the people of Dana Point and the people of foreign cities. We are a member of Sister Cities International, a worldwide organization. These principles are accomplished through the following activities:

  • Cultural Exchanges
  • Business Exchanges
  • Student & Teacher Exchanges
  • Student Scholarships
  • Host Families
  • Fund Raising

As a member, you will be able to learn about new cultures, customs and lifestyles; meet interesting people with mutual interests; travel to our sister cities with other members; participate in association fund-raising events; attend parties and dinners to commemorate foreign holidays; assist in event-planning by volunteering on committees; and share our goals for international unity.

Dana Point Mayor Federico Bob Zasa 2022
Founder Bob Zasa holds a letter or recognition about the Dana Point Sister Cities which came from County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.
Zack Voss and Bob Zasa Dana Point Sister Cities
Bob Zasa (R), President of Dana Point Sister Cities & Alabama alumnus visits with Zach Voss (L) on the campus of the University of Alabama. Sister Cities raised money to donate a scholarship to the Dana Point Historical Society. Zach, who graduated from Dana Hills High School, got one of those scholarships.
Dana Point Mayor Federico Bob Zasa 2022

About Dana Point

Our City, People, and History

Incorporated in 1989, the City of Dana Point is named after Richard Henry Dana Jr. (1815-1882), a Harvard-trained lawyer, seaman, and author of the classic sea journal, Two Years Before the Mast (1840). Dana documents his 1834-36 voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California on the merchant ship, Pilgrim. Dana described this area as "the most romantic spot in California."


Dana Point is home to 34,037 residents and is characterized by nearly seven miles of prominent coastal bluffs and rolling hills along the Pacific Ocean. The most noteworthy of these bluffs is a unique promontory known as the Headlands, which overlooks Dana Point Harbor, one of the most significant landmarks of the Orange County coastline.

Outstanding Culture

Dana Point is home to artists, writers, educators, and professionals with an appreciation for arts and culture. Music, art, and theater are woven into the fabric of the community and a part of everyday life.

There are many festivals and special events annually, including art exhibits, musical performances, as well as a symphony orchestra. Some of Dana Point’s largest festivals are based entirely on celebrating the arts:

  • Ohana Festival of music, environmental research, and surfing history
  • California Wine Festival
  • Festival of Whales
  • Tallship Festival
  • Doheny Surf and Art Festival
  • Dana Point Harbor Arts Shows

A number of local groups actively foster community interest in and appreciation for the arts and cultural activities. They provide venues for performances and exhibits, workshops and networking opportunities for artists, and encourage arts education in the local schools. These groups include Dana Point Arts Alliance, Dana Point Symphony, Dana Point Historical Society, Dana Point Entertainment Arts Council, Music Preserves, and Lyric Opera of Orange County.

In addition, The South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA) is an award-winning performing and visual arts academy within Dana Hills High School. It provides an in-depth educational opportunity to talented young artists.

First Class Destination

Located halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, Dana Point is known as a surfing capital of the world as well as the Dolphin and Whale Watching Capital of the World™. As a resident or visitor, you can enjoy everything from sunset cruises and luxury spas to surfing and ocean view golfing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and kayaking, “pirate ship” adventures, beach and aerial yoga classes, and deep-sea fishing.