Welcome to San Juan Capistrano
Red-tiled roofs and sleek adobe curves are shaded by the gently waving palm trees of San Juan Capistrano, nestled between vast wilderness preserves and the sparkling beaches of Dana Point at the southern end of Orange County, California. Rich with culture and easily accessible thanks to the presence of the I-5 Highway, this colorful small-town delights all who visit it.
San Juan Capistrano has a long and diverse history of inhabitants and was named for the mission around which it was founded,
Mission San Juan Capistrano
. Though the town itself wasn’t incorporated until 1961 after much debate by its citizens, who wanted to maintain its small-town feel, the mission was established in 1776 and has long been a primary destination for tourists of Southern California and Orange County.
Today, around 35,000 people call San Juan Capistrano home. Among the residential housing options are multi-million dollar estates that play off the area’s Spanish Colonial and Native histories by incorporating facets of both styles, modest luxury condos in private neighborhoods, and stunning modern new-builds with unparalleled vistas and amenities.
What to Love
People & Lifestyle
San Juan Capistrano is the kind of place where maintaining the beautiful aesthetic and community-feel are top priorities, making it a great place for families and those who want to have a close-knit neighborhood lifestyle. Near to beaches and hiking, yet just an hour south of Los Angeles, the town has a lively atmosphere that capitalizes on its beautiful architecture, historic areas, and quaint downtown.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
San Juan Capistrano has several shopping plazas and malls that house everything from name-brands to local boutiques, all added to its dynamic dining scene. For all of your day-to-day needs, head to
and visit their salons, spas, farmers’ market, home décor stores, and casual eateries. If you prefer to browse specialty stores, head to the historic downtown district and encounter plenty of local favorites, including antiques, clothing boutiques, and more, all right around The Mission.
If being near to the sea in San Juan Capistrano’s sunny weather has you craving classic Italian fare, then you’re in luck.
brings to life the explosive flavors of Southern Italy with innovative takes on traditional dishes, and you can taste the freshness of their artisanal pasta and locally grown produce. Another purveyor of locally-sustained food,
makes their food from scratch daily and can accommodate a variety of special dietary needs with their savory, simple, clean foods and heavenly signature pastries.
Coffee enthusiasts will want to check out
Hidden House Coffee
and stock up on some of the best roasts in Orange County. With press and pull espresso blends, cold brews, and beans sourced from all over the globe, this hidden gem is a must-visit when in San Juan Capistrano.
Things to Do
You can’t live in or visit San Juan Capistrano without hitting up the historic site of the original mission, located downtown. More than a historic landmark,
Mission San Juan Capistrano
is also part museum, part chapel, and has lovely gardens to view. Your desire to explore this small town will only grow from there, and thanks to its many festivals, scenic sites, commercial districts, and recreation, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied.
Rancho Capistrano Winery
is Orange County’s biggest winery and has cultivated over 40 unique wines that pair exquisitely with their food menu. Eating at the winery, known as San Juan Capistrano’s best restaurant, is an experience in and of itself and becomes a staple favorite for all who visit. After your impeccable dinner and wine, you can appreciate a show at the
Camino Real Playhouse
, which has been delighting audiences for over 30 years and nearly 3,000 performances.
Prefer something a little more group-oriented and boisterous? The
celebrations and parade are exactly what you need. Celebrating the return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano, this beloved community event features a lively parade in addition to The Mercado, a street fair that includes live music, food, vendors, and a kids’ play zone.
San Juan Capistrano is home to a number of excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
Capistrano Valley High School, 9-12, highly-rated public high school
JSerra Catholic High School, 9-12, well-rated private Catholic School
Stoneybrooke Christian School, PK-8, well-rated private Christian school