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Things to do in & around San Juan Capistrano, California

 
 
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Click here to find and book a hotel or motel in San Juan Capistrano. KillerOrange gives you the ability to shop for the best lodging for your next vacation or overnight stay in Orange County, California. Hotel/motel amenity information is fully detailed, and you can book your stay online.  
Arts Orange County 
 
 
Workshops to help build professional skills of those working in the nonprofit arts community. Grants programs. Publications. Public awareness. Arts education improvement programs for K-12 schools. Orange County Arts Awards. "Arts Orange County was established in 1995 as a nonprofit countywide arts council. It is the state-local partner with the California Arts Council and is the official local arts agency of the County of Orange. Arts Orange County serves as a resource and advocate for the arts community, as a catalyst for leadership on arts issues, and as sponsor of programs and services which enhance public awareness of arts activities and promote the development of the arts and arts education in Orange County. "  Santa Ana
Bridges Training Stables 
 
 
Bridges Training Stables - Specializing in Hunters, Jumpers, and Dressage - Western and Trail also available - Learn to Ride with Bridges Equestrian - Riding Lessons & Training - Specializing in Hunters and Jumpers - Ages 8 and up / All Levels - Your Horse or Ours! Horse Leases, Horse Sales, Horse Care, Equestrian Team, One Day Boot Camp, Kids Equestrian Summer Camps, Shows, Clothing, Accessories.  San Juan Capistrano
Camino Real Playhouse 
 
 
 
2004: "In the previous 12 seasons the Camino Real Playhouse has presented nearly 100 full scale productions including 11 Show Off playwriting festivals and 16 Shakespeare Under the Stars productions. In addition, we have offered drama classes for both adults and children and have presented more than three dozen children's productions. The Mission and Purpose of the Camino Real Playhouse To produce a broad range of quality theatrical presentations Nurture and celebrate local artistic expression Constantly delight and challenge our audiences To provide hand-on learning experiences for those interested in all aspects of theatre production and management To provide a home for educational theatre related experiences for youth and young adults To celebrate the achievements of our volunteers and staff To provide value for our many supporters and contributors"  San Juan Capistrano
Capistrano Beach 
 
 
"Enjoy volleyball, basketball and other beach activities. During the summer months, a concession building offers fishing gear rental and sales, food and beverages, and beach supplies."  Capistrano Beach
Christmas at the Mission 
 
 
"Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation Presents: Christmas at the Mission - The official City ceremony and lighting of the San Juan Capistrano Christmas tree begins in Historic Towne Center Park, with a visit from Santa Clause, a Live Nativity Presentation, Merchant Open House, Music and Fun. From there, holiday guests are invited to attend the annual Christmas at the Mission Festival." At the Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano.  San Juan Capistrano
The City of San Juan Capistrano, California 
 
 
"The City of San Juan Capistrano is a unique community grounded in a history of native American culture, the Mission established by Franciscan missionaries in 1776, and an agrarian past. Officially incorporated as a city in 1961, San Juan Capistrano recently celebrated 40 years of cityhood. A council-manager form of government, with five elected council members elected citywide, direct the city operations and municipal services. The City has grown from a small community of approximately 10,000 persons in 1974 to a developed city of 34,193 in 2004, with a variety of land uses providing open space, recreation, housing, jobs, shopping and services. The City prides itself on effectively maintaining its open space character by acquiring land to preserve its defining ridgelines, hillsides, and trails. Nearly 40% of the City is in open space and park land. Only about 10% of land suitable for development still remains vacant."  San Juan Capistrano
Coach House 
 
 
 
One of OC's favorite hangouts - in picturesque San Juan Capistrano - with many name acts you'll recognize.  San Juan Capistrano
Dana Point Festival of Whales 
 
 
2006: "Don't miss the 15th annual Festival of Whales Street Faire on March 4 & 5, 2006! Come join the community as we celebrate the return of the Gray Whales off the coast. Come sample the best of Dana Point through more than 100 booths, displays, and fun activities. Follow the Parade to the Street Faire! Fun for the entire family. Great food, great games, great entertainment, and best of all - the great people of Dana Point."  Dana Point
Doheny Blues Festival 
 
 
Held in May. 2006 description: "There is no finer location than Doheny State Beach to celebrate true American Music... plus enjoy tasty food, shop in the expanded Vendor Village and have a picnic with your friends! The stellar list of artists performing this year includes: * B.B. King - the 80th Birthday Celebration * Etta James and the Roots Band * John Hiatt with special guests the North Mississippi Allstars * Los Lobos * G Love and Special Sauce * Tower Of Power * Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials * Tommy Castro Band * Charlie Musselwhite * Henry Butler * James Hunter from England * The Electric Kings from Belgium * James Harman Band * The Mannish Boys Revue * Zac Harman & MidSouth Blues Revue * Nathan James & Ben Hernandez * Martin Gerschwitz, Blue Mama & more!"  Dana Point
Flower & Garden Festival at the Mission SJC 
 
 
"Each June, Mission San Juan Capistrano presents its annual Flower Garden and Art Show. The weekend features unique plant and garden vendors, including gardening books, artists, and demonstrations. Proceeds from the Festival support the world-famous 'Jewel of the Missions', and the work of the Gardening Angels, a group of volunteers who maintain the gardens that enhance this historic site. This popular event, held on the lush ten-acre grounds of historic Mission San Juan Capistrano features over seventy vendors/exhibitors of flowers, plants, and garden items, as well as a variety of crafts and fine art. Music, seminars, and food round out the day, so even non-gardeners will enjoy this event!"  San Juan Capistrano
Franko's Maps of Orange County & Vicinity 
 
 
Surfing? Biking? Hiking? Fishing? Exploring? Boating? Franko's Maps have long been a staple of OC Locals! Franko's Map of Orange County Surfing, Franko's Map of San Diego Surfing, Franko's Map of Orange County Trails, Franko's Trail Map of Santa Ana Mountains & Chino Hills, Franko's Trail Map of Big Bear, Franko's Poster of Big Bear, Franko's Map of South Coast Wilderness (Laguna Beach Wilderness), Franko's Diving Map of Santa Catalina Islands, Franko's Diving Map of Channel Islands, Franko's Diving Map of Orange County Coast, Franko's Diving Map of San Diego Coast, Franko's Diving Map of Los Angeles Coast, Franko's La Jolla Shores Fish Card, Franko's HMCS Yukon Deck Plan & Fish Identifier, Franko's Channel Islands Mini Map & Kelp Forest Creatures, Franko's Avalon Underwater Park & Kelp Forest Creatures, Franko's Map of Catalina's Two Harbors & Fish Identification Card, Franko's Map of Santa Catalina Island, Franko's Map of Channel Islands, Franko's Map of San Diego County Coast, Franko's Map of Orange County Coast, Franko's Map of Los Angeles County Coast, Franko's Map of Newport Harbor & Upper Newport Bay,  Corona
Iva Lee's 
 
 
"Come on in, have a seat and sit a spell. Welcome to Iva Lee's Southern and Creole Cuisine. Iva Lee was born and raised in the South. She came from a long line of Southern women who passed down recipes since their arrival in America in 1640. Iva Lee was my beloved grandmother. She took pride in preparing a wide variety of Southern meals and classic dishes from New Orleans for family and welcomed friends. Parties and Large Events - Iva Lee's can seat up to 42 guests in the back dining room, 34 in the front dining room and up to 32 on the patio. We can do Christmas Luncheons, Weddings, Baby Showers, Corporate Luncheons, Dinner Parties, etc." Tennessee meatloaf. Jambalaya. Homemade sausage. Sweet potato fries. Pulled pork sliders with tobasco onions. Bourbon french onion soup. Blues musicians.  San Clemente
Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade 
 
 
2006: "More than 110 exciting parade units headed down Crown Valley Parkway. Marching bands, clowns, exotic cars, equestrian groups, a tribute to America’s military.... The parade is on Crown Valley Parkway between Nueva Vista and Crown Valley Community Park. The designated drop off area for entries and guests is at the northwest corner of Moulton and Crown Valley Parkway.... We suggest that you to view the photos of parade, click on our sponsors and support their business, become a volunteer and we offer you a special invitation to your club, association and company to. . . . Become a sponsor for the 2006 Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade. A small town parade like it used to be..."  Laguna Niguel
Mariachi Festival 
 
 
"Mission San Juan Capistrano invites you to join us at our second annual Mariachi Festival, which will be held on August 5, 2006, 10:00 am -2:30 PM in the beautiful Mission courtyard. The festival will include entertainment 'Battle of the Mariachis' and authentic Mexican food. Mariachi performers will compete for cash prizes. This event is free with paid admission to the mission. After the Festival - the Mariachi Divas perform for Music Under the Stars."  San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano 
 
 
"Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Birthplace of Orange County, was founded more than two hundred years ago. Today it is a monument to California's multi-cultural history, embracing its Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European heritage. Originally built as a self sufficient community by Spanish Padres and Indians, the Mission was a center for agriculture, industry, education and religion. Visitors will discover many areas of interest within the Mission walls. You can hear the tolling of century old bells and walk down its time worn paths. The serenity and peace amid the 10 acres of lush gardens and cool fountains, cloistered by old adobe walls, offers visitors seclusion from the sights and sounds of a busy world. Visit the Serra Chapel, Padres Quarters, Industrial Area, Soldiers Barracks, Cemetery and The Great Stone Church." Events include: Art Exhibitions, Benefit Gala Concert & Dinner, Christmas at the Mission, Flower & Garden Festival, Founders Day, Kids Day at the Mission, Lecture Series, Lincoln Celebration, Living History Day, Mariachi Festival, Member Appreciation Day, Music Under the Stars, Return of the Swallows, Sunday Symphony Series, Two for One Resident Day, Mission San Juan Capistrano Summer Camps.  San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano Summer Camps 
 
 
Mission San Juan Capistrano offers a variety of entertaining, hands-on summer camps for children. Each is designed to teach children about Mission and California history.... The following camps will be held in 2006: Beginning Clay Summer Camp: Students will learn to express themselves artistically while learning about early California pottery, both indigenous and European. Students will learn how to make pinched pots, coiled pots, decorative tiles, primitive statues, as well as how to glaze their work. Mission Matters Camp: Ron Bauer will lead children in hands-on craft making and tasks focusing on skills of the Mission and Rancho Eras. Students will learn how to make candles and soap out of tallow, rope making and knot tying, as well as hide branding. Camp Discovery at Mission San Juan Capistrano: Enjoy a fun-filled, educational week (or two) of the science behind and inside the beautiful Mission San Juan Capistrano. Discovery Science Center is teaching Science on a Mission Camp and Science Sleuths Camp for 7 to 10 year old campers at the Mission San Juan Capistrano this summer. In addition, the Science Center is teaching Summer Smiles for 5 and 6 year old campers. Science on a Mission Camp: Embark on a scientific mission to unearth the secrets of the past. Explore the history and restoration of the jewel of San Juan Capistrano, experiment with building designs and materials that strengthen structures, make gooey slime and more. Enjoy this fun-filled, educational week of the science behind and inside the Mission San Juan Capistrano. Science Sleuths at the Mission: Open your eyes to a whole new world! Experience our StarLab planetarium. Uncover the mysteries of the universe as your investigations take you from the microscopic level of fingerprints and fossils to the telescopic wonders of the stars. Explore the animals of the past, make a rubber ball, and much, much more! Summer Smiles at the Mission: It’s never too early to learn about science! Investigate butterfly wings and bug antennae using microscopes. Experiment with ooey, gooey concoctions. Take apart owl pellets. Examine real fossils and make a fossil imprint to take home. Create a comet. And best of all, parents ~ this program will strengthen what your kids are learning in school. Indian Summer Camp: Journey’s to the Past educator, Jacque Nunez presents a camp that celebrates culture, diversity, and California’s heritage. Imagine Journeying back in time when people lived in harmony with Mother Earth and learning about Native American cultures and lifestyles from early southern California. Children will learn to be keepers of the Earth through sound environment practices and learn skills that the Native California Indians used, such as stomping mud for Adobe making, scrubbing gourds for rattles, drilling shells for necklaces, and pounding yucca for string are just a few crafts that will create a special memory for your child. Intermediate Clay Summer Camp: For the first time Mission San Juan Capistrano is offering an intermediate ceramics camp. In this camp, students will learn the basic fundamentals of wheel thrown pots, free hand vases, making sculptures, statues, and heads. Gold Rush: What was the trail of our California Gold Rush like and who were the Native Americans that the Pioneers encountered across the country? Children will experience arrowhead making, carding wool, making friendship bracelets, panning for gold, making biscuits, playing Pioneer and Native American games, and authentic Native American dancing."  San Juan Capistrano
Music Under the Stars at Mission SJC 
 
 
Held June to September at Mission San Juan Capistrano. "Mission San Juan Capistrano presents ... Music Under the Stars evening concerts... The concerts feature dining and dancing to a variety of live music including Big Band, Latin, Motown & R & B, Swing, Top 40 in the beautiful Mission courtyard."  San Juan Capistrano
Nick's Restaurants 
 
 
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner in San Clemente, Laguna Beach, or Belmont Shore in Long Beach. For the perfect start to your Sunday, Nick's serves up a scrumptious breakfast.  Irvine, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, San Clemente
Return of the Swallows Mission San Juan Capistrano 
 
 
2006: "Mission San Juan Capistrano will present its annual Return of the Swallows celebration Saturday March 18th to Sunday March 19th, 2006. Festivities include the traditional bell ringing, Pageantry, live entertainment, ethnic foods, and vendors all to mark the springtime return of the swallows to Capistrano. The Mission's biggest annual celebration, it marks the coming of spring, a time of renewal and rebirth. Other highlights include Living History Members, scheduled Docent tours, artisans demonstrating crafts, mariachi performers, school choirs and performers, Indian dance groups, ethnic foods and much more. The swallows migrate annually to Goya, Argentina in October, and return to their spring and summer home in San Juan Capistrano each March. The Swallows celebration began centuries ago when Mission padres observed that the birds return roughly coincided with St. Joseph's Day on the church calendar, March 19. The celebration has achieved international prominence since then."  San Juan Capistrano
Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park 
 
 
"In this, Orange County’s largest park, the wilderness setting offers a rare opportunity to experience nature in its entire splendor throughout the year. Open for both day use and camping, visitors can enjoy a number of recreational activities, including several unique interpretive programs to acquaint them with the natural splendor of the area.... Caspers Wilderness Park is an 8,000 acre protected wilderness preserve nestled among the river terraces and sandstone canyons of the western coastal Santa Ana Mountains. The park's many fertile valleys are overtly complemented by specimen groves of native Coastal Live Oak and magnificent stands of California Sycamore. These areas are further accentuated by seasonal wildflower displays and running streams. Wildlife is abundant and can be readily viewed from any of the parks numerous trails."  San Juan Capistrano
Ruby's Diner 
 
 
If you are looking for a 50's style diner with real ambiance, there's a Ruby's Diner near you. In San Juan Capistrano they are a treat for kids, because the restaurant is up an escalator and has a train running around the ceiling (hint: take the Amtrack there and make it a day). In Balboa, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, you can enjoy the view from the Ruby's Diners at the end of those piers!  Balboa, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Seal Beach, Tustin, Yorba Linda
San Clemente Dog Park 
 
 
Includes a separate fenced area for small and/or older dogs. "SC Dog Lovers worked hard with our City’s Parks and Recreation committee of San Clemente to get the first off-leash dog park built for our city. San Clemente Dog Lovers is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Gregg Lipanovich. We are still working together with the Parks and Rec. to help promote a more dog friendly San Clemente. Our efforts include fund raiser events that will support additional off-leash recreational areas and amenities. Parks and Rec. is open to fund these additional play areas that are of interest to pet owners and the residents, when jointly funded. The San Clemente Dog Park has 2 separate exercise areas. The larger one is about _ acre of decomposed granite. There are 4 benches, 2 doggy pot dispensers, a doggy drinking fountain and a double gated entrance. The smaller area is a nice grass enclosure for smaller, less active or mature dogs. The park is used quite a bit. So bring extra bags for pick up. Dog Park located at the corner of La Pata and Calle Extremo. Park your car on either side of La Pata. Handicapped parking spot and handicapped entrance into Dog Park provided."  San Clemente
San Clemente Ocean Festival 
 
 
Festival held in July. "The San Clemente Ocean Festival is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to the promotion and support of ocean safety, the environment and the community by providing a quality athletic, cultural and enjoyable family event.... Proceeds from the San Clemente Ocean Festival help fund many worthwhile organizations, including SC Jr. Lifeguard & city aquatic programs, Ocean Institute for local school programs, Meals on Wheels and the Boys and Girls Club. Scholarships are also provided annually to three area high schools."  San Clemente
split.id south 
 
 
"introducing split.id south- the orange curtain the split.id resistance is expanding. the army has infiltrated behind the orange curtain to san juan capistrano in south orange county's first alternative, experimental theatre. dominic savio from split.id will head as president and artistic director along with sheila freudenberger and ruth kurisu. this year's line-up includes "evolution of sunday" by justina walford, 'the shape of things' by neil labute, 'fat men in skirts' by nicki silver, 'collected stories' by donald marguiles (commisioned by scr), and 'lobby hero' by kenneth lonnergan (writer and directer of 'you can count on me') the group will occupy a theatre space in the camino real playhouse right in the heart of the tourist district by the old mission in san juan capistrano. split.id south offers on-going training, industry showcases and film/television camera and audition techniques. if you would like to be a part of the invasion call dominic at 949.285.4654 let the adventure continue!... On the last Saturday of the month from 6-7pm, people from all over the globe come to watch, listen and emote as we tell true stories about ourselves."  San Juan Capistrano
Sunday Symphony Series 
 
 
"The Mission San Juan Capistrano presents a Symphonic Celebration Series with Sunday Evening Pops Concerts by the Capistrano Valley Symphony, May through September featuring classic symphony sounds and show tunes and popular music from the 40's to the present day in the beautiful Mission courtyard."  San Juan Capistrano
© Keith Weber
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