San Juan Capistrano Mission and Historic District

Location: San Juan Capistrano is an historic town located in a coastal valley one mile from the ocean in Orange County. Halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, it is accessible via Interstate 5 and the San Joaquin Tollway or by Amtrak train which stops right in the heart of the historic district.

Phone: (949) 493-4700 or (949) 248-2040 or contact the Chamber of Commerce at (949) 493-4700.


Hours: Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & Good Friday p.m.
Fees: A donation/fee is charged for entrance to the mission.

Comments: Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded by Padre Junipero Serra on November 1, 1776.
THE MISSION: Mission San Juan Capistrano has been the center of Orange County since its founding by Padre Junipero Serra on November 1, 1776. Today, it is one of California's most important historical, cultural, and educational centers. Mission San Juan Capistrano is the 7th of 21 Spanish Missions established in California by Franciscan Padres. Ortega Highway.

The grounds are well kept except the heavily earth quake damaged church. Some of the damage is slowly being restored. The destroyed church was replaced with a still used temporary church built into the mission square or courtyard. On special occasions persons dressed in period costumes can be found on the grounds. Original and rebuilt buildings, museum life style displays, flowers and numerous historic artifacts and work areas can be found and photographed. All types of lenses are useful but be sure to have a wide angle lens as quarters are often cramped.

Other points of interest in the town include the Los Rios historic district with 31 historic structures which line both sides of Los Rios Street between Del Obispo and Mission Streets. The District comprises the oldest neighborhood in Orange County and includes three adobe homes built in 1794 for Mission families. Among other significant features of the District are the numerous single-wall board and batten homes erected circa 1887 to 1910. Most homes are private residences. However, some provide specialty retail, restaurant, and commercial services.

Directions: From Interstate 5, take Ortega Highway west two blocks to the Mission entrance at Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano.

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