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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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477 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 NEW

Great little place to spend an hour or two - try and go early when it is less busy. There are self guided audio tours and group guided tours so take your pick. Not a lot else to do in the town and if you have been to the coastal towns of O.C you may find it a bit more... More

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Lehi, Utah
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
22 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

Over the years we have been to many of he California missions, but this one is presented the best. They give you an audio unit to go around and listen to stories about the mission and learn about the history there. Quite a few artifacts, and good explanations. Be sure and see the original part that is in ruins now... More

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Pleasanton, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

We visited here on our recent trip to Newport Beach--only 30 minutes away. We did the guided tour, and the docent was wonderful. I am a native Californian and had never been to this site, so it was very interesting to hear ll the history.

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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014 NEW

The close proximity of the mission, restaurants, wedding venues and train station compounded by a torn up 5 freeway make this location a major cluster f$&@ ! There are only a few overnight parking spaces and getting there an hour early isn't enough. Wedding party people take all spaces! Leaving this disaster took over a half hour to go 3... More

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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
30 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014 NEW

This was a really cool experience. The audio tour was informative, and the mission has been beautifully restored. I went on a day when there weren't a lot of school kids, which was nice. There were a few people there taking family photos, which seemed like a great idea. All in all, a very nice trip.

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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
27 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2014 NEW

San Juan Capistrano is an enjoyable and interesting place to visit, even if swallows aren't around, but, unlike for other reviewers, San Juan Capistrano is not our favorite mission. Part of that has to do with how crowded the mission can get. There is a lot to like about San Juan Capistrano. Much of the mission has been restored--but not... More

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St Helens, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
73 attraction reviews
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014 NEW

I have visited many of the Californian Missions over the years. Why I ever overlooked this one beats me!! IMHO it is quite simply the best of the Missions that I have visited. Superbly maintained and presented. The tour (including Audio) follows the history of this stunning place from its founding in the 1700s up to what you see today.... More

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Karmiel, Israel
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2014

4th Grade Mission Project, what can I say? Easiest Mission to get to and lots of info on it. When we got there I was blown away with how much it had changed since I was in 4th grade. The audio tour and the various museums, the gardens, and the well educated staff... this was fun and a real educational... More

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Yorba Linda, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2014

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
128 reviews 128 reviews
31 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2014

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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