Beginning of main content

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Once a religious and agricultural community of a thousand, this mission is now an Orange County historic cultural hub.

More than 200 years ago, Mission San Juan Capistrano was built as a self-sufficient community focusing on agriculture, industry, education and religion. The historic landmark is one of 21 missions established across California. Many consider it the birthplace of Orange County.

The mission was founded in the late 1700s to expand the boundaries of Spain and spread Christianity to Native Americans in the area. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination that educates visitors about California’s multicultural history.

The mission was at its peak at the turn of the century, and by 1806 it had a population of more than 1,000 people and their farm animals. The centerpiece was — and still is — the architectural triumph, the Great Stone Church.

Explore museum exhibits, 10 acres (4 hectares) of beautiful gardens, and fountains and preserved architecture, including the original chapel. Children will enjoy the Koi Fish Feeding, panning for gold and adobe brick making, while everyone can try the Native American Basket Weaving, which is held twice a month.

If you’re visiting in March, don’t miss the remarkable Return of the Swallows on St. Joseph’s Day. The birds flock to the mission in large numbers every year and begin building their mud nests directly in the ruins of the church. To celebrate their return, festivities take place at the mission, including live mariachi music, performances and presentations.

Mission San Juan Capistrano is open daily, excluding some public holidays. Try to allow for a full day here to get a good look around and take part in some of the daily activities. If you’re stretched for time, a one-hour tour is available on weekends. You can also take a self-guided audio tour any day of the week. (Free with admission.)

It takes about 25 minutes to drive to Mission San Juan Capistrano from downtown Santa Ana or the South Coast Plaza, and there’s plenty of free public parking. Public transport also services the area.


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1,000,000 properties worldwide and 550 airlines worldwide.

Search over a million flights, hotels, packages, and more

No Expedia cancellation fee to change or cancel almost any hotel reservation.

Map

Lodging Near Mission San Juan Capistrano

See all 517 Properties near Mission San Juan Capistrano
Best Western Capistrano Inn $90
Reviewed on May 14, 2019
See details
 
Best Western Capistrano Inn

Best Western Capistrano Inn

27174 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano, CA
     
    3.8 of 5
    2.5 out of 5.0

    Is exelente , no noise, friendly, no body smoking around it.

    Casa Belardes- Family & Pet Friendly. Beaches! Restaurants! Historic Downtown!
    Casa Belardes- Family & Pet Friendly. Beaches! Restaurants! Historic Downtown!

    Casa Belardes- Family & Pet Friendly. Beaches! Restaurants! Historic Downtown!

    San Juan Capistrano, CA
       
      0.0 out of 5.0

      Situated in San Juan Capistrano, this historic vacation home is close to Mission San Juan Capistrano, The Coach House, and Doheny State Beach. Local attractions also include Dana Point Harbor and Sea Canyon Park.

      Lovely Coastal 2 Story Home Near Beaches,equestrian,disney,sea World,golf,hiking
      Reviewed on Nov 25, 2018
      See details
       
      Lovely Coastal 2 Story Home Near Beaches,equestrian,disney,sea World,golf,hiking

      Lovely Coastal 2 Story Home Near Beaches,equestrian,disney,sea World,golf,hiking

      San Juan Capistrano, CA
         
        5.0 of 5
        0.0 out of 5.0

        Half of the fun is meeting the host / owner when she gives you a tour of home pointing out the features. The home is in a quiet neighborhood and has all the amenities and features to make for a very enjoyable stay. The nearby pool and exercise facility was also a plus for our group

        Spacious Home in South Orange County. Near the Beach!
        Spacious Home in South Orange County. Near the Beach!

        Spacious Home in South Orange County. Near the Beach!

        Laguna Niguel, CA
           
          0.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in Laguna Niguel, this vacation home is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Sea Canyon Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of Dana Point Harbor and Doheny State Beach. Mission San Juan Capistrano and The Coach House are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Spacious Home Minutes From the Beach
          Spacious Home Minutes From the Beach

          Spacious Home Minutes From the Beach

          Laguna Niguel, CA
             
            0.0 out of 5.0

            Situated in Laguna Niguel, this vacation home is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Sea Canyon Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of Dana Point Harbor and Mission San Juan Capistrano. The Coach House and Doheny State Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Large 4 BR Ocean, City Lights View Home in Private Gated Community With Pool/spa
            Large 4 BR Ocean, City Lights View Home in Private Gated Community With Pool/spa

            Large 4 BR Ocean, City Lights View Home in Private Gated Community With Pool/spa

            San Juan Capistrano, CA
               
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in San Juan Capistrano, this vacation home is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from Mission San Juan Capistrano and 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from The Coach House. Dana Point Harbor and Doheny State Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa $209
              Reviewed on May 15, 2019
              See details
               
              Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa

              Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa

              25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point, CA
                 
                4.3 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0

                The staff at this hotel was incredible. The room and view was gorgeous and we are excited about booking another trip! It made our first visit to California absolutely perfect. I can’t say enough great things about the Valet guys! Their recommendations led us to great dining experiences and seeing ...

                Upscale Ultra Luxury Home W/model Furnishings $200 Rebate w/ 7 Night Stay!
                Reviewed on Dec 20, 2018
                See details
                 
                Upscale Ultra Luxury Home W/model Furnishings $200 Rebate w/ 7 Night Stay!

                Upscale Ultra Luxury Home W/model Furnishings $200 Rebate w/ 7 Night Stay!

                Dana Point, CA
                   
                  4.9 of 5
                  0.0 out of 5.0

                  My entire family (7) stayed here for a long weekend to attend a family wedding. The house was a perfect size with 4 bedrooms and the location could not be better. We really loved the house and it helped make the weekend. The communication with the rental company was extremely good and they made the ...