I decided to visit Mission San Juan Capistrano on a whim while I was in the OC last month, and I’m so happy I did because this mission is absolutely gorgeous! The entrance fee was only $9! And I say “only” because it came with a free audio guide. The audio guide was great. It featured not only historical facts about the mission, but also folk stories and music from the indigenous people that lived there. Fun fact: the first wine produced in Alta California came from this mission’s winery!
It took me about 2 hours to get through this whole mission. I was going pretty slowly though, and stopping by every listening station to hear what the audio guide had in store. But if you ever do visit, do take your time to enjoy the views (both inside and outside). The courtyard was my personal favorite–the plants and everything have been so beautifully maintained!
If you go around to the back of the mission, you’ll see the remains of The Great Stone Church, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. But even then, you’ll still feel a sense of wonder when you stand in what would have been the center of the church. It was a true architectural masterpiece!
This is only the second mission in California that I’ve ever been to. Which ones have you guys visited? I’d love to add to my bucket list! 🙂