Built in 1776 by Saint Junipero Serra! We recommend taking a Catholic Pilgrimage here. Not only is the history moving but they take pride in their beautiful gardens.
Kallin's family home town of San Juan Capistrano has so many wonderful places to explore by foot. The historic Mission is a must see but there is so much beyond that. Take a stroll down quaint Los Rios Street, eat and drink along Verdugo Street, find a keepsake at the Antique Barn or stop at Richard Nixon's favorite Mexican Restaurant, El Adobe. If you are a country western fan, mosey on into the famous Swallows Inn to listen to some live country western music and two step around the dance floor with some of our locals. Click on the "View" button for a detailed map of our town.
Ellie's Table is located within easy walking distance from Mission Basilica Church in San Juan Capistrano. It is a Zehren favorite for coffee, breakfast and lunch. Located in the historic Egan House built in 1883 by Irish immigrant Judge Richard Egan.
A favorite beach walk! Check out Fisherman's Wharf on the pier for food and drinks while watching the surfers below! Afterwards, walk off those calories on the beachfront trail. It is level, easy and beautiful! Often times, dolphin pods can be seen from the trail.
Avenida Del Mar Street in San Clemente is a great place to shop, drink and eat. After a few hours of checking out Del Mar Street, head straight down to the San Clemente Pier at the end of the road. You can't miss it, it ends at the ocean! http://sanclementeguide.com/shopping-in-san-clemente
Itching to try out surfing? We recommend the beach where Kallin first stood up when she was 10 years old. You can rent a board here and hit the waves! They have a beach shack with food and drinks as well. Sand volleyball courts and bike rentals available too.
Not only is Strands Beach beautiful to hang out at for the day, it has gorgeous walking trails from above and below at the beachfront. An added bonus is the parking is easy and free! Gaze upon the mega homes that dot the shoreline along the beach. You can even walk along Strands Beach over to Salt Creek Beach which is a stunning beach as well.
Young's Beach Shack is a great place any time of day! Park in the Salt Creek Beach parking lot and head down to the beach. The Beach Shack is situated right above the sand with unbelievable views of the ocean, surfers and on a clear day you can see Catalina Island. The sunsets here are amazing here. The best part is that the Beach Shack is open early morning until sunset and serves GREAT food and even BETTER cocktails! It is totally casual, walk-up service and a great place for a morning latte as well. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Enjoy a drink on the rooftop deck at 180blũ in the iconic Ritz Carlton with its stunning oceanfront views! Often they will have live entertainment.
So much to do here! Restaurants, bars & shopping galore! Dolphin & whale watching cruises as well as fishing excursions here. Sunset cruises! Charters to Catalina Island. Kayak, paddle board and jet ski rentals. Walk the harbor and admire the boats. Doheny Beach & the Ocean Institute within walking distance from here. The opportunities are plentiful!
Want to see dolphin pods and whales? Take a boat tour out of Dana Point Harbor (or Newport Harbor) for a couple hours. There is nothing like the thrill of seeing dolphins and whales in their natural environment. You may even spot a few sea lions as well. There are many tours available if you just Google it. This is just one popular tour option. We suggest checking out Groupon as well for some great deals!
The Ocean Institute is an ocean education organization located in Dana Point, California. It offers ocean science and maritime history programs for K–12 students and their teachers as well as to the general public. Visitors can see marine animals and ocean-themed exhibits. For all you SpongeBob Squarepants fans, biologist and cartoonist Stephen Hillenburg drew inspiration from his time teaching at the Ocean Institute while creating the beloved Nickelodeon animated television show.
Like our engagement photo shoot? Check out the dreamy beach we took them at!
Jump on a free trolley that connects the towns of San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, and Dana Point. Click on the "Visit" button for details.
There is nothing like The Pageant of the Masters anywhere in the world! One of the most unique productions anywhere, the Pageant of the Masters re-creates famous works of art through paint, light and using real actors. The 2024 theme is “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion.” Come see the performance and enjoy the Festival of Arts beforehand where world class artists display their masterpieces. Located in beautiful Laguna Beach, the Pageant of the Masters is performed in an outdoor amphitheater. Food and beverages are on location for purchase. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Note: this is an evening event and the show begins after sunset.
Located in beautiful Laguna Beach, the Sawdust Festival is a spectacular display of art and music. Who knows, you may go home with a piece of art as a keepsake from your trip! There is food and drink as well.
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration. They are open to the public on a daily basis. Animal lovers will enjoy this visit. Click on the "Visit" button for the website information.
Rent an electric bike at Cecil's Cyclery and cruise around Balboa Island or along the boardwalk of Balboa Peninsula. Catch the surfers at The Wedge where the waves can get HUGE! If you are really feeling adventurous, you can ride your electric bike up to Huntington Beach where there is always lots of action. Be sure to check out Groupon, Cecil's often has discounted rental opportunities!
Rent a Duffy Boat in Newport Beach. There are a lot of options available and checking Groupon for a deal is worth the effort (be sure to book ahead). Tour the islands around Newport and take in the breathtaking mansions along the waterfront. Pack some drinks and snacks to take along on your adventure. You will be the captain of your own boat which typically holds about 12 people. It is really a fun afternoon! Located about 30 minutes away from San Juan Capistrano.
For those who need a break from the sun and looking to do a little high-end shopping while in California, Fashion Island will suit those needs! It is a beautiful "mall" with something for everyone.
Baseball lovers may want to take in an Angels game while visiting Orange County. The Angels Stadium is about a 30 minutes drive from San Juan Capistrano. Click on the "View" button for the official link to the Angles Team including their schedule. They are in town playing from July 8-14th, 2024.
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and burial site of Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States (1969–1974), and his wife Pat Nixon. The museum, housed in a 52,000-square-foot building, offers a narrative of Nixon's life and career. Behind the museum is the birthplace, which was constructed by Nixon's father using a home building kit, and restored to appear as it was in the 1910s. President Nixon and Pat Nixon are buried on the grounds, just a few feet from the birthplace. This presidential library is truly fascinating and a must see for history buffs. Located about 45 minutes away from San Juan Capistrano.
Take a day trip to Catalina Island on the Catalina Express (click on Visit button for transportation schedule) departing from Dana Point Harbor. On the way over, you may see all kinds of sea life such as dolphin pods. Once you arrive in Catalina, you can explore the island by bike, golf cart or foot. You can snorkel as well as scuba dive. This link lists many of the activities available on Catalina Island. https://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/things-to-do/
Take a journey of discovery through the world's largest ocean at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. This is truly a special place! Located about an hours drive from San Juan Capistrano.
Universal Studios is a really fun day for everyone. Harry Potter World will charm the entire family. There is something for everyone to enjoy here. Located about an hour away from San Juan Capistrano with no traffic (note: that could double depending on the day and time!)
For those looking for a bit of culture, the Getty Museum is located about 1.5 hours away from San Juan Capistrano. Click the "Visit" button for more information.
The historic Queen Mary is home to a 343-room Art Deco Hotel, where guests relive the excitement of the golden age of steam shop Atlantic crossings of the 1930's without ever leaving port. Permanently docked, the Queen Mary is an upscale hotel and a must-see attraction in Long Beach, CA. Offering historical, paranormal and educational tours, unique shops, meeting & banquet facilities, three award-winning ocean-view restaurants, and of course a unique hotel experience. Don't miss your chance to visit an iconic landmark! Located about an hours drive from San Juan Capistrano.
Despite its name, the Huntington Library has stunningly beautiful botanical gardens. Encompassing about 130 acres, the Botanical Gardens feature living collections in 16 stunning themed gardens with more than 83,000 living plants, including rare and endangered species, and a laboratory for botanical conservation and research. Additionally, the Huntington Library is one of the world’s great independent research libraries, with more than 11 million items spanning the 11th to the 21st century. If that isn't enough, the Art Museum features British, European, American, and Asian art spanning more than 500 years and includes more than 45,000 objects. This is truly an amazing way to spend a day. It is stunningly beautiful and quite peaceful. Note: it is at least 1.5 hours drive from San Juan Capistrano. This is absolutely a day trip but one that you will really enjoy.
Commissioned 8 days after the end of World War II, Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, as well as the first U.S. aircraft carrier too big to transit the Panama Canal. She operated for 47 years, during which time she saw action in the Vietnam War and served as the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991's Operation Desert Storm. Decommissioned in 1992, she is now a museum ship at the USS Midway Museum, in San Diego, California, and is the only remaining inactive U.S. aircraft carrier that is not an Essex-class aircraft carrier. The Midway will charm everyone of all ages. (Note: not handicap friendly)
Located about an hour away from San Juan Capistrano (without traffic). There is ocean wild life and rides to thrill all ages.
Come indulge your inner child and visit Lego Land!
Visit the world class museums of Balboa Park in San Diego. Only about an 1 - 1.5 hours drive away. Balboa Park is home to a host of museums and cultural institutions that provide an enriching and enchanting look at the human experience from multiple points of views.
Come visit the world famous San Diego Zoo! Located about 1 - 1.5 hours from San Juan Capistrano. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes, it is quite hilly but worth the challenge!
The Safari Park is a unique opportunity to view wild life in their nature habitat. The wildlife is not behind bars but roam freely. There are some amazing opportunities, like overnight stays, if you book ahead.
For the wine lovers, this is a wonderful day! Temecula Valley is located about an hour drive away from San Juan Capistrano. Downtown Old Town Temecula is charming as well and worth a visit. Here is a map of the Temecula Vineyards.https://assets.simpleviewinc.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1/clients/temecula/VisitTemeculaValleyMap_957db00a-0677-49df-9211-bc3fa76fd42c.pdf