When we visited the area of San Juan Capistrano we knew we would walk everywhere we went. The nice thing about that is many of the stores offer free walking tour maps.
You can begin your self-guided walk at any point on the map, you will see most everything there is to see in San Juan Capistrano, everything from the Mission to the Yorba Adobes and the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library. San Juan Capistrano has a rich history dating back to the last 200 years.
There are several organised walking tours in case you should want a bit more of the local history:
San Juan Architectural Walking Tour: Meets 10 am on Saturday Mornings, lasts about 90 minutes and it meets at the information booth at the train depot. $5 donation is recommended per person. 949-489-0736 for more information.
Historical Walking Tours of SJC: Meets on Sundays at 1pm at Ortega's Trading Post across from the Mission. 949-493-8444 for further information.
Mission Baslica San Juan Capistrano was established by Junipero Serra, on November 1, 1776 as one of the Twenty-One Missions built up along the California coast. This is still an active parish and if you are inerested in attending mass while here take a look at the Mission Basiica SJC Parish website.
There are about ten acres of adobe-style architecture, museum rooms, exhibits, gardens, fountains and of course interesting history of California. The self-guided audio tour is included with the price of admission, but there are others offered. There is so much to see and do here that it could take all day depending upon one's interests.
Most people know of this Mission because of the "Swallows" that return every March for the summer and stay until about October when they migrate south to Argentina. This has been called "The Miracle of the Swallows of Capistrano." It is a time of celebration around town so if you visit during this time, expect a crowd. However, to avoid the crowds time your visit later on sometime, during a week day. The swallows build mud nests on the ruins of the old stone church's wall.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Birthplace of Orange County, was founded more than two hundred years ago. Today it is a monument to California's multi-cultural history, embracing its Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European heritage. Originally built as a self sufficient community by Spanish Padres and Indians, the Mission was a center for agriculture, industry, education and religion.
Be there in the spring for the return of the swallows.
Hours: daily 8:30AM - 5:00PM
My rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The San Juan Capistrano Mission was the main reason for our trip over here. I love visiting the Missions of California and I have been to about six of them already. I didnt realize that this Mission was so close. I probably would have come a long time ago. Along with our entrance fee we received a gadjet that goes around your neck and you bring it up to your ear as you go from station to station, you punch in the number and the recording will tell you where you are at and what signaficance this place had here. Mission San Juan Capistrano is concidered the birth place of Orange County. It was founded more than two hundred years ago.
Open Daily 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & Good Friday afternoon.
May close early on Christmas Eve.
$9 Adult - includes free audio tour.
$8 Seniors 60+ - includes free audio tour.
$5 Children ages 4 to 11
Children ages 3 and under are admitted free.
Oh, how breathtaking and historical! California is known for its old missions. here is the one to not miss in Orange County!! There are many awe-spiring shots to take here.
Check out the calendar of events for special summer events like concerts and gallery shows!
$4 children 4 and over (to 11); those under 3 are free
Mission San Juan Capistrano is probably the best California mission in terms of size, restoration, buildings, gardens, and exhibits. It also has one thing that other missions don't have--the famed swallows that return to the mission every March 19, St. Joseph's Day.
With the adult admission price of $6, you also get a printed guide which suggests a path to follow and shows the many interesting things to see along the way. Many exhibits, like the Soldier's Barracks and North American Displays, give us a sense of how mission residents lived more than one hundred years ago. The ruins of the Great Stone Church show that they were capable of building great structures even then. Visiting the mission is learning about an important part of California's past.
Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded more than two hundred years ago. Today it is a monument to California' multi-cultural history, embracing its Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European heritage. Originally built as a self sufficient community by Spanish Padres and Indians, the Mission was a center for agriculture, industry, education and religion.
The Campanario, or bell-wall, erected in 1813, and still used to ring the mission calls. The calls were to awaken the residents, call them to meals, to siestas and to prayer.