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Mission San Juan Capistrano

26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949 234 1300
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Missions, Gardens, Museums
Owner description: Visit the birthplace of Orange County, California Landmark and Museum. The most beautiful mission in the world and renowned for return of the... more » Owner description: Visit the birthplace of Orange County, California Landmark and Museum. The most beautiful mission in the world and renowned for return of the swallows. Guided tours daily and audio tour available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Vietnamese. Hands-on activities include California Missions Resource Studio, Curiosity Carts, Native American Basket Weaving, Koi Fish Feeding, and Panning for Gold and Adobe Brick Making. The site itself serves as a living outdoor museum with original buildings constructed by Native Americans in the 18th century including the Serra Chapel, Ruins of the Great Stone Church, and the original padres’ quarters of the South Wing. Relax in peaceful and stunning gardens. « less
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469 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Yorba Linda, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2014 NEW

Take the self-guided audio tour and you won't be disappointed. Loved every inch of this mission, especially the ruins of the great stone church.

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Naples, Florida
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
31 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2014 NEW

My husband and I took a guided tour of the mission today and enjoyed it very much! The guided tour enhanced our tour immensely and we would highly recommend it. It is just an additional $3 per ticket and well worth it. The buildings are awe inspiring, the grounds are lovely! The tour took about one and one half hours,... More

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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

We stayed in Dana Point which is about 10 minutes away from the mission. The area is quiet and the town has interesting things to see and do. The mission, itself, is quite lovely and peaceful. The self guided audio tour was great, taking as long as you like at each spot. Photo ops abound! The chapel is very beautiful.

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Dubuque, Iowa
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
19 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

My family and I spent about two hours at the Mission San Juan Capistrano on a recent two-week trip to the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. It was an unplanned stop, and it turned out to be not only worth our time, but one of the highlights of the trip. The partially restored and active Mission is an excellent... More

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Parker, Colorado
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
21 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

We have been to several of the missions along the coast. The artifacts, pictures and interpretation provided here is the best that we have seen. Well worth the trip. Tip on tickets: think Groupon.

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Orange County, California
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
23 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

I've grown up around this mission, and in fact, my grandparents were married here in 1922. It has been wonderful to see it evolve into what it is now. A fantastic place to see something of our humble beginnings here in OC, even if I'm sure it NEVER looked like this when it was a bustling Spanish outpost. Beautiful and... More

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New Jersey
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
29 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014 NEW

The mission has an interesting history. The high price for admission is not great for including many people, but perhaps the mission cannot receive any public funding to help. The grounds are interesting to walk around. The audio tour that comes with admission helps explain, although sometimes, it provides extraneous information. Also, it is not always clear that additional audio... More

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Phoenix
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
17 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2014 via mobile

Note: Groupon often has half-price tickets. They offer an audio tour with your admission. However, they do offer guided tours. Try to catch a guided tour, it will greatly enhance your experience. We were fortunate enough to have CJ on two different tours. If you don't enjoy history or gardens you probably should not go. Additionally, a lot of children... More

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VA, USA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

This mission provided an interesting history of the 21 Church Missions in California. Being from the East Coast, I was not familiar with the history of Southern California. The failure to establish the Mission in 1775 due to a native uprising and the return of the Missionaries in 1776 with soldiers to establish San Juan Capistrano's was intriguing. The auctioning... More

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Safety Harbor, Florida
Top Contributor
344 reviews 344 reviews
97 attraction reviews
197 helpful votes 197 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014 via mobile

We were encouraged to visit the Mission by friends. We dedicated a day of our trip to it. This mission was a really nice surprise. It is immense and had many beautiful wildflowers to enjoy along the way. The chapel and grounds are exquisite. There is also a cool historic town district here too. There are also some nice restaurants... More

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