Mission San Juan Capistrano
The Mission at San Juan Capistrano bills itself as the "birthplace of Orange County" and is one of the most recognized historic landmarks along the West Coast. First settled in 1775, the mission originally was built to spread the Spanish empire and convert local natives to Christianity. Now, it is a combination museum and religious site and offers a variety of tours, special events and activities for visitors of all ages. Among activities are a ceramics camp, adventure sleepovers, and summertime outdoor concerts each Saturday evening.
Among the many Mission San Juan Capistrano tours are a Swallows Walk & Talk Tour, which provides a detailed look at the history of the famous swallows migration to the mission each year. Separate audio tours in multiple languages are available for adults and children. The children's tour features humorous presentations aimed at fourth-graders but are appropriate for kids of all ages. Separate historic tours of the mission's church sites and the Serra Chapel also are available and retrace the mission's more than 240 years.
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