One of the most unique cities in Southern California is the quaint but exquisite City of San Juan Capistrano. Not only is the city the site of the oldest residential neighborhood in SoCal, Los Rios, it is also the home of the oldest in use building in California, the Serra Chapel in the San Juan Capistrano Mission. The list of first doesn’t stop there. San Juan Capistrano is also home to the first vineyard and first winery, which for California is quite the title to brag about.
For centuries San Juan Capistrano was known for the migration of cliff swallows who would visit the area every Spring. The birds’ journey would originate in Goya, Argentina every year around St. Joseph’s Day, and used to end at the Mission San Juan Capistrano. The city would culminate the event each year with the annual Swallow’s Day Parade and other festivities. The swallows would remain in the area until October before making their return migration home. Capistrano has not been visited by the infamous swallows since 2009.
San Juan Capistrano is a city rich in California history and continues to make new history of its own. Some of the best things to do in San Juan Capistrano include both historic and modern adventures like visiting the Mission San Juan Capistrano, ZOOMARS Petting Zoo, The Coach House, Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park, O’Neill Museum, Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, Old Barn Antique Mall, The Ecology Center, Historic Town Center Park, Blenheim Equisports, Veteran’s Park, or Montanez Adobe.
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