Mission San Juan Capistrano

Location: 26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano

Hands down, one of my favorite days from this year will be Sunday, November 11th, 2012. For my boyfriend’s birthday, we enjoyed a sunny 60 mile drive to The O.C. to spend the day in the remarkable city of San Juan Capistrano to visit the 7th Spanish Mission established in California in 1776. Words cannot express the spirituality, the history, the enduring exquisiteness, and breathtaking grounds surrounding us that day.

Thankfully, we walked the property taking the time to listen to the audio tour (click here to listen online), which not only educated us about what we were looking at, but why the earth that we were standing on was significant. It brought the experience to life. From learning that the California wine industry originated at the mission while looking into the large vat used to stomp grapes; to sitting in The Serra Chapel, that’s still used to this day for worshiping; to walking through the cemetery’s resting place for 2,000 souls; and then standing among the ruins of the Great Stone Church after the December 1812 earthquake, was an overwhelmingly special opportunity.

After spending a few hours at the mission, we walked the town of San Juan Capistrano, perusing gift shops and an awesome antique mall before heading to an early dinner at El Adobe restaurant.

I scored an antique vanity tray for my bathroom from the antiques mall, had a wonderful dinner, a new education about Mission San Juan Capistrano, and an unforgettable day with my boyfriend. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and I took 131 of them! It was difficult to narrow them down for this post, but I hope that they capture why this was such a special day. Make it a point to see the mission if you’re ever in the area. Until then…Enjoy!

The Mission


{Statue just outside The Great Stone Church ruins.}

{The Great Stone Church Ruins.}


{Heading to the Central Courtyard.}

{The Central Courtyard.}

{How the California Wine Industry was born.}

{Archway near the wine vat in the industrial center, perhaps for grapes?}

{Industrial center blacksmith tools.}


{The Central Courtyard.}

{Corridor toward The Serra Chapel.}

{The Serra Chapel.}

{The Serra Chapel Altar.}

{The Serra Chapel Altar.}

{The cemetery and Father St. John O’Sullivan’s resting place.}

The Town

{Strolling the San Juan Capistrano city streets.}

{Stopping into the Antiques Mall.}

{Interior, Antiques Mall.}

The Restaurant

{El Adobe Restaurant.}

{My dinner: Southwest Cabo Salad.}

{His: Nachos.}