San Juan Capistrano

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

Mission San Juan Capistrano

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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, 33.501023-117.6639231 San Juan Capistrano station 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 Metrolinks Orange County and Inland Empire lines.

Map of San Juan Capistrano

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.

  • 33.502039-117.6626731 Mission San Juan Capistrano, 26801 Ortega Hwy, +1 949 234-1300. Daily 9AM-5PM. 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 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. Adults $9, seniors (60+) $8, children (under 11) $6, children (under 3) free. 
  • 33.504402-117.6637161 Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, 31520 Camino Capistrano, +1 949 234-1360, fax: +1 949 248-2008. 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. 
  • 33.500422-117.6642611 O’Neill Museum, 31831 Los Rios St., +1 949 493-8444, e-mail: museum@capistranohistory.org. 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. 
  • Downtown. 
  • 33.574352-117.5538881 Caspers Wilderness Park. (updated Oct 2015)
  • 33.501943-117.662961 Ortega’s Capistrano Trading Post (Trading Post), 31741 Camino Capistrano, +1 949 496-3993. M-F 10:30AM-6PM, Sa Su 10:30AM-6PM. Ortega’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. (updated Sep 2018)

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