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“A Very Pleasant Way to Spend a Few Hours”

Mission San Juan Capistrano
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$30.00*
and up
Small-Group World Heritage San Antonio Missions Tour with Guide
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Famous for the Annual Return of the Swallows, Mission San Juan Capistrano, historic landmark and museum, welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year. Enhance your visit with our new multi-language Audio Tour available in English, Spanish, French and German and now offered free with admission. Enjoy permanent exhibits featuring historic and religious artifacts, precious and rare paintings, and more. Experience the tradition of bell ringing daily honoring the legacy of Saint Junipero Serra, who founded the Mission in 1776. Visit the newly conserved Serra Chapel, California’s only chapel still standing where Saint Serra celebrated Mass and where the Eucharist has been celebrated daily.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We (my wife and I) were driving from Anaheim to San Diego and decided we wanted to stop and see one of the old missions - and this one was convenient (not very far off I-5).

I wasn't sure what to expect but what we found were wonderfully restored grounds, original "ruins", beautiful lanscaping, period recreations, helpful staff and lots of information covering everything you'd want to know.

You can go at your own pace, see what you want, skip what you don't.. There are rooms showing what life was like when this was a family hacienda, artifacts from the mission's early years and a chapel as well. I haven't even mentioned how nice the gardens are..

In addition, it's near the center of town so finding a place to eat or visiting some of the quirky shops nearby is quite easy. Also, although we drove down, I noticed that the train station was within walking distance so a car is not necessary.

It's a wonderful time-machine-like peek into a slice of old California.

1  Thank djplong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,009 - 1,013 of 1,281 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2013

Great mission setting, beautiful church/chapel, very relaxing courtyards. Decent historical presentation.

Thank rodndtube
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2013

Great visit, this is truly a California treasure, rich in history, great for photographers. I went on my own got a tour was very informing. I learned a lot about new things about mission life and its history. Beautiful gardens great architecture. It’s a truly a gem.

Thank Johnnycatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

Great historic visit. A lot of history here. The audio tour was great. Worked well and was very informative. You can explore at your own pace and can go around in any order. Don't have to follow a rigid format. Very clean. Some construction going on to the entrance but nothing to deter visiting. If you love history you will enjoy visiting here and even if you don't it is small enough that you won't get bored. Only need a couple of hours to visit. Highly recommend!

2  Thank Rodvalente
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

I usually read most if not all of the text panels when I go to museums and heritage sites. Here, I think I read one or two. Otherwise, my Mom and I just wandered through the lovely grounds and looked at the gardens, buildings, butterflies, swallows' nests, etc. We also hung out by the koi pond, where a youngster named Adrian had figured out how to attract the koi by waving his fingers over the water as if he were feeding them. Lots of great photo ops here.

This was a great day trip from Anaheim -- we took the Amtrak down and spent the day here. The train station is only a block from the mission, in the centre of town. It would be even better during swallow season!

Thank delarana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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