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San Juan Capistrano

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San Juan Capistrano

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San Juan Capistrano is a city in Orange County in Southern California.

Get in

San Juan Capistrano is located between Los Angeles and San Diego along the California coast. It is easy to reach by car by taking I-5 to the Ortega Highway (State Route 74) interchange. Better yet, the train station is located right in the center of the historic downtown area.

Get around

Everything is within walking distance.


  • Mission San Juan Capistrano (Junipero Serra Mission) [2]
  • Mission Basilica [3] church is a stunning building built to match the design of the Mission's great stone church which was destroyed by an 18th century earthquake.
  • Downtown [4]


  • Swallows Parade, [5]. Every spring the largest non-motorized parade in the country celebrates the return of the swallows and the town's old west heritage.
  • Music Under the Stars, [6]. On summer evenings, the Mission's music under the stars] series features concerts in the mission as the sun sets over the mission walls.
  • The Camino Real Playhouse, [7] has a regular schedule in its 88-seat theater. Each spring, the melodrama [8] is a major event with audience members cheering for the hero and booing and throwing foam rocks at the villain between bouts of laughter.



San Juan Capistrano is known for its wide variety of fine dining. Skip the fast food joints by the highway. There are half a dozen fine restaurants within 200 yards of the rail station. All the locals know that the best fish tacos anywhere are found at a little taco stand across from the mission, Pedro's Tacos.


No trip would be complete without a visit to the Swallows Inn, on Camino Capistrano near the Mission and the train station. It balances between being a cowboy bar and a biker bar and it loves its bad reputation, but you can take your granny there with no worries.

Attached to the Swallows Inn is a one-chair barber shop called the "Hair of the Dog." If you are in town in the afternoon, you can get a haircut and a beer.


  • Best Western Capistrano Inn, 27174 Ortega Highway, +1 949 493-5661 (fax: +1 949 661-8293), [1].

Get out

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