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“Wonderful Mission and Audio Tour is a huge help”

Mission San Juan Capistrano
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Small-Group World Heritage San Antonio Missions Tour with Guide
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Castro Valley, California
Level 6 Contributor
399 reviews
150 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 258 helpful votes
“Wonderful Mission and Audio Tour is a huge help”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

This is a lovely Mission, and the audio tour really enhances the visit. While the audio does a great job of describing the Mission, it does sanitize some of the realities of the life of the Native peoples whose lives and traditions were turned upside down. However, the historical significance of this and the other Missions cannot be ignored. It is a significant part of California history. Adults and children alike will enjoy this. You can spend 2 - 3 hours here.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank wardgarner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,217 reviews from our community

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English first
Kauai, Hawaii
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful place in California's Early History”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

We visited Mission San Juan Capistrano on a clear, hot October day. The whole site is a photographer's dream. No wonder I saw several professional photographers taking photos of couples and families (I guess for engagements, holiday cards, etc) while we were there. We spent a couple of hours wandering around with our provided audio guides (they help a lot in understanding what you are seeing). We were a family group from seven years old to fifties and we all had an enjoyable time. This is the first of the California missions which I've had the opportunity to visit. I understand it's one of the most impressive. I believe it. If you're anywhere in the area, go visit. You won't regret it.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank Kauaiboy96765
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“A Great tour for learning about early California”
Reviewed November 16, 2012

This is arguably the crown-jewel of the 21 Spanish missions in southern California. We took a tour with Docent Venus, and she was both knowledgeable and interesting. She took us through the various decisions made to build the mission system, which went hand-in-hand with early southern California history. The mission grounds have lots of original stone-work and artifacts, in addition to beautiful silver, gold, and artwork, mostly from Spain. The chapel is an inspiring place to worship. The original large church building was mostly destroyed in an earthquake, and a new Basilica sits adjacent.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank C W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Awe Inspiring”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

My husband and I took a long-awaited "Roadtrip" along Pacific Highway One. The Mission at San Juan Capistrano was one of the sites we wanted to visit. It is well worth it. The chapel is so beautiful and peaceful. It is so amazing how this Mission has survived all this time. We met a lovely group of volunteers who come to tend the gardens and do whatever repairs need to be done. There was a special demonstration the day we were there of the art of basket weaving. It is a definite must-see if you are near it.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank PghScottygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Goleta, California
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Mission San Juan Capistrano: home to the swallows”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

My family and I visited the Mission San Juan Capistrano and enjoyed our time there very much. We chose to go shortly after it opened and we really almost had it to ourselves. Located in the heart of San Juan Capistrano itself, this is easy to get to. Parking is kay if you get there early; later may be more challenging. We walked all over once inside the old stucco walls of the Mission. There is so much interesting history here of early California days. If you are interested in a quiet place of beauty and history, this is for you. There are lots of beautiful flowers and fountains and many areas explaining what life here was like back 200 years ago. Do yourself a favor and take some time to visit. This is the place where the famous Swallows visit each year too.

Visited February 2012
1 Thank kellygal_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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