San Juan Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano is a city in Orange County in Southern California.
San Juan Capistrano sits between Los Angeles and San Diego along the California coast. It is easy to reach by car by taking the I-5 to the Ortega Highway (State Route 74) interchange. Better yet, is in the center of the historic downtown area, across the street from Mission San Juan Capistrano. The station is served by Amtrak via its Pacific Surfliner line, and Metrolink's Orange County and Inland Empire lines.
Everything is within walking distance.
During the summer, two trolleys on 20-minute frequencies run in a continuous loop from downtown San Juan Capistrano (La Zanja Street) to a Dana Point trolley service stop at Stonehill Drive and Del Obispo Street. The Dana Point Trolley also connects to a Laguna Beach Trolley. Trolley rides are free.
phone: +1 949 234-1300address: 26801 Ortega HwyThis is a historic California mission founded in 1776 by Spanish missionary Junipero Serra. It was the first mission to grow grapes. Today it is a museum where tours of the site are offered and masses are still celebrated in its Serra Chapel (the only existing building where Serra is known to have preached). Audio tours are included with museum admission. The site houses ruins of a collapsed portion of the "Great Stone Church" and the annual "Return of the Swallows" observed March 19.
phone: +1 949 234-1360address: 31520 Camino CapistranoThis church is a stunning building built to match the design of the mission's Great Stone Church which was destroyed by an 18th-century earthquake.
phone: +1 949 493-8444address: 31831 Los Rios St.A small museum that documents life in San Juan Capistrano in the 1880s. Also features an extensive collection of historical photos that can be browsed.
phone: +1 949 496-3993address: 31741 Camino CapistranoOrtega's Capistrano Trading Post is across the street from the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano. The Trading Post has a rich history. The original Old Mission Trading Post was built by Henry Oliver in 1947. It was built on the site of Fred Stoffel's former San Juan Inn Cafe (first cafe in SJC) which had also served as Fred Cason's movie house during the 1920s. The facade was changed in 1953 to the Western false front appearance it has today. They are 7th generation experts in Native American Indian Jewelry & Turquoise. They also offer San Juan Capistrano souvenirs, religious goods, artwork, crafts from local San Juan Capistrano artists and California Mission Collectibles.
phone: +1 949-493-4700address: Camino Capistrano & Yorba StreetA juried display and sale of fine art, jewelry, and crafts that coincides with the Living History Day at the Mission.
Swallows ParadeEvery spring the largest non-motorized parade in the country celebrates the return of the swallows and the town's old west heritage. Additional events from January through March bring an old west flavor to the town.
Music Under the StarsOn summer evenings, the Mission's music under the stars series features concerts in the mission as the sun sets over the mission walls.
The Camino Real PlayhouseAn 88-seat theater. Each spring, the melodrama is a major event with audience members cheering for the hero and booing and throwing foam rocks at the villain between bouts of laughter.
The Los Rios DistrictThe oldest continuously occupied street in California and has a mix of residences and little shops on a beautiful shaded street. It is across the tracks from the train station.
ZoomarsA petting zoo really done right. It is owned by a rare bird dealer and is always close to immaculate and very well staffed. It also has facilities for parties.
phone: +1 949-606-0409A Home Discipleship Church focused on restoring discipleship in the home.
The Antiques BarnNearly a block long and full of regional antiques
There are half a dozen fine restaurants within 200 yards of the rail station.
Pedro's TacosAll the locals know that the best fish tacos anywhere are found at a little taco stand across from the mission.
3:16 Bakery Shopphone: +1 949 218-6060address: 26762 Verdugo St.Small bakery shop located right by the rail station. They sell cakes, pastries, other baked goods, coffee, espresso, tea, gelato, and frozen yogurt.
There are a few bars south of the Mission
phone: +1 949 493-5661address: 27174 Ortega Highway