San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano is a city in Orange County in Southern California.

18 things to do

All Places United States California

Mission San Juan Capistrano

This 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 we can say Serra 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.

Swallows Parade

Every 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.

DO   —  Map

The Camino Real Playhouse

has a regular schedule in its 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.

DO   —  Map

The Trading Post

Located across from the mission, it looks like a standard tourist trap at first glance. In the back of the store, however, there is a collection of authentic and high quality southwestern handcrafts.

BUY   —  Map


Is what would happen if a petting zoo were 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.

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The Los Rios District

is the oldest continuously occupied street in California and has a mix of residences and little shops on a beautiful shaded street. It is just across the tracks from the train station.

DO   —  Map

O'Neill Museum

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.

3:16 Bakery Shop

Small bakery shop located right by the rail station. They sell cakes, pastries, other baked goods, coffee, espresso, tea, gelato, and frozen yogurt.

Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano

This 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.

Music Under the Stars

On summer evenings, the Mission's music under the stars series features concerts in the mission as the sun sets over the mission walls.

DO   —  Map

Mission Inn

A Bed and Breakfast in the heart of San Juan Capistrano (Currently closed, will reopen as Marriott’s Autograph Collection hotel)

Second Saturday Art Fair

A juried display and sale of fine art, jewelry, and crafts that coincides with the Living History Day at the Mission.

Pedro's Tacos

All the locals know that the best fish tacos anywhere are found at a little taco stand across from the mission.

EAT   —  Map

Walk of Faith Church

A Home Discipleship Church focused on restoring discipleship in the home.

DO   —  +1 949-606-0409 —  Map

The Antiques Barn

Nearly a block long and full of regional antiques

BUY   —  Map


SEE   —  Map

Source: wikivoyage