San Juan Capistrano was initially a small village created around the famous Mission San Juan Capistrano. Now 200 years old, the Mission still plays “host” to thousands of swallows that annually migrate to the mission on or around March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day. As the Great Stone Church within the Mission welcomes the swallows, the town’s residents do their own brand of welcoming with a massive fiesta, parades, live music and food that harkens back to the town’s humble beginnings.
This annual “Swallows Day” is a rich cornucopia of sights and sounds, with motorcycles pulling into parking slots next to horses tied to the hitching post outside the town’s oldest bar. It is, actually, a reflection of how life is lived here.
San Juan Capistrano is an unassuming town with a diverse population of inhabitants. Although its Spanish architectural beginnings are commonly reflected in even the newest homes of San Juan, it is home to the widest variety of homes in Orange County, including those built prior to 1900 in its “Central District” (some being adobes from the 18th century), a number of 10-plus million-dollar homes in the gated communities of the hills, and working ranches in its foothills.
The Capistrano Unified School District offers traditional and English/Spanish immersion schooling, and many private academies call San Juan Capistrano home as well.
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