Mission San Juan Capistrano
Los Rios Historic District
One block southwest of the Mission, next to the Capistrano train depot, this peaceful assemblage of a few dozen historic cottages and...
Long-running live-music venue features a roster of local and national rock, indie, alternative and retro bands; expect a cover charge of...
Ramos House Café
The best spot for breakfast or lunch near the Mission, this Old West–flavored, wood-built house from 1881 is famous for organically...
26801 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano · interesting places nearby
Mission San Juan Capistrano information
Plan on spending at least an hour poking around the sprawling mission’s tiled roofs, covered arches, lush gardens, fountains and courtyards – including the padre’s quarters, soldiers’ barracks and the cemetery. Admission includes a worthwhile free audio tour with interesting stories narrated by locals. The mission is at the corner of Camino Capistrano.
Particularly moving are the towering remains of the Great Stone Church, almost completely destroyed by a powerful earthquake on December 8, 1812. The Serra Chapel – whitewashed outside with restored frescoes inside – is believed to be the oldest existing building in California (1782). It’s certainly the only one still standing in which Junípero Serra gave Mass. Serra founded the mission on November 1, 1776, and tended it personally for many years.