OCLB Tour of San Juan Capistrano Mission & Los Rios Historic District

  • Sat, July 13, 2024
  • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • San Juan Capistrano
  • 1


Registration is closed

San Juan Capistrano Mission

Ruins of Mission San Juan Capistrano


Los Rios Historic District

Los Rios Historic District | San Juan Capistrano : r/orangecounty

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Beginning at 10:00 AM

A Great Day for a History Lesson!

Members Only!

Due to expected high demand for this event, only members will be allowed to register at this time.

Mission San Juan Capistrano was first founded on October 30, 1775, by Father Fermin Lasuen, abandoned because of rumors of Indian attacks and re-founded November 1, 1776, by Father Junipero Serra. The name Mission San Juan Capistrano honors Saint John of Capistrano, Italy.

Mission San Juan Capistrano | Explore | Metrolink

Interesting Facts about Mission San Juan Capistrano 

  • Mission San Juan Capistrano is the only one to be founded twice
  • The swallows return to Mission San Juan Capistrano every year around March 19
  • Mission San Juan Capistrano is sometimes called "Jewel of the Missions" because of its beauty
  • The small chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano is the only place still standing in California where Father Serra said massMission San Juan Capistrano | National Trust for Historic Preservation
The Los Rios District lies directly across the railroad tracks from the Capistrano Depot and is the oldest neighborhood in California. The forty homes that remain here include three original adobe structures. The Montanez, the Rios, and the Silvas are all that remain of the adobes that housed the builders of the mission and the mission ranch workers in the late 1700's and early 1800's. During these early years, as the Great Stone Church was being built, the mission was prospering as the center of the economy for the Spanish and the Acjachemen Indians who were beginning to merge their cultures. Many of the other homes here were built by European immigrants in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Los Rios District - San Juan Capistrano | SanJuanCapistrano.com

Today, although most of the homes are private residences, there are many businesses open to the public during business hours. This provides a relaxing and enchanting experience for locals and tourists alike. To walk the streets of the Los Rios District is to recapture the tranquillity of the slower pace of life that existed before the turn of the century and before. It was not long ago that the streets were still dirt. Willow trees grow among eucalyptus and palm. Cactus and wildflowers grow beneath sprays of bouganvia. You can hear the hum of insects that a writer in the 1800's wrote about and feel the haunting presence of those who lived in that time.

San Juan Capistrano Half-day Adventure Including Historic District Tour and the Mission

Cost: approximately $50 for fees and lunch

Our hike leader has planned a fun half-day adventure in the beautiful town of San Juan Capistrano (SJC). The itinerary includes a Great Outdoors personal tour of the Los Rios Historic District, which boasts having the oldest neighborhood in California! We will have lunch at a Mexican restaurant, spend a little time in an unique antique mall that has lots of cool memorabilia, and finally we will spend some time exploring the beautiful Mission San Jan Capistrano. All these activities are within a one mile radius of the downtown area. 

The schedule is planned as:

  • Arrive at the meeting spot no later than 10:00 AM. There is a paid parking structure at 26700 Verdugo St, San Juan Capistrano, 92675. The meeting spot will be at 10:00 sharp at the clock tower just next to the parking structure. This is also the Metrolink train station and you can't miss it. There will be a public restroom next to our meeting spot.
  • At 10:15 we will meet up with Todd, a volunteer from the historic society, who will take us on a personal one-hour walking tour of the Los Rios District, consisting of historic adobe houses and the oldest neighborhood in California. The tour is free and they only ask for a suggested $10 per person donation to the historic society. The tour will be less than one mile on level streets.
  • Once the tour is over we will walk a quarter mile to have lunch at El Adobe Restaurant, which boasts being a favorite eating spot of Richard Nixon! The cost of lunch will be on your own and the average entre price is $20 to $25. 
  • Next we will walk across the street to the Old Barn Antique Mall which has over 60 dealers in a 10,000 square foot space. It is fun to explore all this store has to offer.
  • Finally we will have an opportunity to visit the beautiful Mission of San Juan Capistrano, which was founded over 200 years ago and is a remarkable piece of history. Depending on when we arrive we will have about one hour or more to explore the grounds. The cost of entry is $15 for seniors (60+), and $18 for adults. 
  • After the Mission visit we will be free to wonder around town or walk back to our vehicles and call it a day. 

Please contact the hike leader, Rick Ponce, with questions. The schedule will be casual and I'm excited to share this fun experience with the group. We can have up to 15 people for this event. 

Please bring water, snacks, sunscreen, sun hat and wear comfortable walking shoes. You can use credit card to pay entry into the Mission. Please bring cash for a voluntary donation to the historic society and for lunch to make it easier for the restaurant staff. 

Trip Leader: Rick Ponce

Email: redrunner7@aol.com

Bring the 10 essentials:


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