San Juan Capistrano is a city in southern Orange County, California, USA, located approximately 23 miles southeast of Downtown Santa Ana. San Juan Capistrano is a community with a rich historical background dating back to 1776. San Juan Capistrano most notable feature is the meticulously preserved Mission located in the historic downtown area. Mission San Juan Capistrano is the third largest visitor attraction in Orange County. Father Junipero Serra founded Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1776, which is known as the Jewel of the Missions. It is renowned for its beautiful courtyard gardens and legendary "Return of the Swallows" on March 19th of each year.
The city was created around Mission San Juan Capistrano, and many of the homes and strip malls resemble the Spanish architecture that compose the building. It is home to the widest variety of homes in Orange County, with 10 million dollar homes in the gated communities of the hills, homes built prior to 1900 in its central district — some being adobes from the 18th century — and working ranches in its foothills. San Juan Capistrano is probably best known for the annual migration of the Cliff Swallows, who reputedly migrate each year between Argentina and the Mission San Juan Capistrano.
The attractive downtown area offers a fantastic variety of savory restaurants, sidewalk cafes, stylish boutiques and charming antique stores. Self-guided walking tours are popular for both locals and visitors alike, as an informative brochure guides you past historic buildings, including the Los Rios Historic District; the oldest residential neighborhood in California. The downtown district offers the Capistrano Depot Railroad Station. Whether you work in Los Angeles or setting out for a weekend getaway in San Diego, commutes to larger cities are made easy, as Amtrak and Metrolink trains leave daily.
Located within one half mile from the Pacific Ocean and bordered by striking mountains, San Juan Capistrano real estate offers a variety of housing options and caters to those who seek a safe residential community that possesses the same charms of a larger city. San Juan Capistrano is served by the Capistrano Unified School District. Although the City is predominantly residential, a mix of commercial, industrial, agricultural and tourist oriented uses offer a well-rounded mix.