Facts About Mission San Juan Capistrano

Founded in 1776 by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order, the Mission San Juan Capistrano is the birthplace of Orange County and now a historic landmark and museum.

Located in San Juan Capistrano, it offers a great day out for the family, so read on to explore:

  • San Juan Capistrano Mission History
  • Mission San Juan Capistrano Facts
  • San Juan Capistrano Mission Hours

Mission San Juan Capistrano History

Founded over 200 years ago as the 7th of 21 missions statewide, the Mission San Juan Capistrano was named for Giovanni de Capistrano, a 15th-century theologian and “warrior priest”, and is home to the oldest building in California still in use.

Having been used for centuries, it now stands as a monument to California’s multi-cultural history.

San Juan Capistrano Mission Facts

Mission San Juan Capistrano is known as the “Jewel of the California Missions” and welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year.

Great things to see include:

  • The iconic bell wall, which still features daily bell ringing to honor the legacy of Saint Junipero Serra. Two original bells that once hung in the Great Stone Church can still be viewed.
  • Permanent exhibits such as “Mission Treasures: Historical Collection Revealed”, which showcases historical artifacts, precious and rare paintings, religious artifacts, and more.
  • Basket-weaving and other hands-on activities in the Mission Clubhouse.
  • Family-friendly cultural festivals held throughout the year. Summer concerts, which feature dining and dancing under the stars, are always a favorite.
  • The newly conserved Serra Chapel, the only standing church where Father Serra said Mass.

San Juan Capistrano Mission Hours

The Mission is open daily 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and closes at noon on Good Friday, Romance of the Mission, and Christmas Eve.

Please note that the Mission may be closed to general admission for special and signature events, or during periods of bad weather.

Get More Local Information for a Great Family Day Out

Any visitors from Coto De Caza, Laguna Beach, Irvine, or further afield planning a trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano shouldn’t hesitate to contact us. Whether looking for local history hotspots, Laguna Beach hikes, or Italian restaurants, we’ll be happy to help.

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