"San Juan Capistrano!" San Juan Capistrano by lmkluque
San Juan Capistrano Travel Guide: 157 reviews and 469 photos
Where It Began
Welcome to My San Juan Capistrano page,
As long as I've lived in California, actually, I was born here, I've known about San Juan Capistano, about it's Mission and about the Swallows returning to the Mission at the same time each year, but I haven't stopped here. I've passed it while on the train from Los Angeles to San Diego and since the train passes right through the most historical and charming section, I've thought it would make a nice stop along the way.
It wasn't until my granddaughter had a school "field-trip," by train, that I've had the opportunity of reconnoitering this historical area of California.
The morning began early, sixish I believe, I picked her up and seeing the way of the Rush Hour morning traffic, it seemed prudent for us to take the SD Trolley into downtown, which has a stop at the Santa Fe Train Depot. I parked my car in their extensive (and free) parking lot and were happily on our way.
Unfortuanately, by the time we had gone three stops, I realized I hadn't placed the "handicap" placard on my car when I parked it in the designated space!! Oh, a $300.00+ fine was not something I wanted to get. We hurriedly got off the Trolley, reversed our direction and returned to the car. I prayed that we would arrive before a dillgent police officer noticed no placard on my car. We got off the Trolley at our originating stop, thanked God for watching out for us and the police, placed the placard on the car and started over again.
Not an auspicious beginning, but I tried to make it a bit of an adventure for my granddaughter and we had a few laughs. A learning experience for us both as it was clear that even with the glitch, we would arrive with time to spare. Had we taken my car all the way into town, we would have been late in any case. Traffic was particularly bad that morning and even the teachers were almost too late.
The train ride took about an hour and a half and since this was her first experience on a train we went exploring. Up and down the stairs, opening the connecting doors from one car to the next, she especially liked that and a stop at the snack car. By the time we returned to our seats, watched out the window, the passing scenary, drew a picture and took photos, we had arrived.
The train station in San Juan was situated smack in the middle of the old historic section and only a block from the Mission San Juan Capistrano, which was the main focus of the field-trip, so, we hadn't far to go to see everything. Very convenient for Grandma, who can't walk for long periods of time. This page tells the story of our discoveries from the perspective of a seven year old and of a VT Member.
I Hope You Enjoy Your Visit,
This is the sign post seen on the west side of the tracks at the train station pointing to all directions for things to see. It is a good place to begin a tour of this area as in the square there are also, tours offered and information given that will help a tourist reconnoiter this charming place.
This is the San Juan version of "Old Town San Diego." Similar in some respects but very different in others. The Mission is about two blocks away and it too has similarities to Mission de Alcala in San Diego, but very many differences. It's bigger for one, and more of a tourist production for another. However, both have their charm and if an interest in history is at all present, well worth a visit to both the old town area and the Mission which is still an active parish.
Many times I've passed through San Juan Capistrano on the freeway, (Interstate 5) but this gives no clue to the charm we found deboarding the train which runs through the oldest section of the city that has been has been restored to some extent, I imagine, but also has been preserved. Some of the small rustic buildings have been standing since the 1800's, which is a pretty long time in the ever changing California.
The original Mission Church is a ruins now, but can still be seen. The grounds have been cared for and newer buildings added. There is an active docent population offering tours, but a formal tour is not needed to appreciate the history of this, one in twenty-one, Missions established along the California coast from south to north.
- Pros:A wonderful day trip from SD or LA!
- Cons:None that I can think of.
- In a nutshell:Historical, Charming and Relaxing!
The Pacific Surfliner runs from San Diego to San Juan Capistrano and the trip takes about an hour and twenty minutes.... more travel advice
I didn't actually eat here , but I would have if I could have. The outside dining patio was what caught my attention and... more travel advice
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Latest: Nov 20, 2008