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12 Best Outdoor Activities in and Around Dana Point

12 Best Outdoor Activities in and Around Dana Point

7 Best Family-Friendly Activities in San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano attracts visitors and residents with its historic energy, nearby beach, and famous cliff swallows. With hilltop views of the ocean and surrounding area, dream homes by Opulent Design Build can accommodate the whole family. When searching for activities that children and adults alike will love, try out our ideas below.

1. Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park

The Search New WindowRonald W. Caspers Wilderness Park is an excellent place for the whole family to visit for an outdoor adventure. Spanning 8,000 acres, this protected wilderness area is surrounded by the Santa Ana Mountains. Visitors can spot seasonal wildflowers in full bloom alongside running streams with sandstone canyon backdrops. For a structured experience, sign up for a naturalist program with guided walks and critter talks for children.

This spot also provides campgrounds of many types for families looking for a weekend excursion. Hike or bike the surrounding trails, stopping by the historic windmill and nature center to learn more about the area. Then have a barbecue for dinner and keep warm at the fire rings at night. Whether you’re interested in a half-day getaway or a more extended trip, this wilderness park is the perfect place.

2. Mission San Juan Capistrano

Brown and white concrete building near green trees under blue sky during daytimePhoto courtesy of Unsplash

One of the best things to do in San Juan Capistrano is to visit Search New WindowMission San Juan Capistrano. This museum and historic landmark was founded over 200 years ago as one of 21 missions statewide. Visitors can admire and memorialize the area’s Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and European heritage when viewing the building’s exhibits. This mission also holds the regionally significant Swallows Legend, which occurs annually on March 19th.

Families can explore the range of exhibits that explain history through artifacts, paintings, and an interpretive room. Learn about the mission’s padres in the south wing or observe exclusive mission treasures in the west wing. Families can also book onsite tours for a more engaging experience or visit the mission for the events it hosts year-round.

3. Zoomars

Boy in orange hoodie standing beside brown giraffe during daytimePhoto courtesy of Unsplash

Search New WindowZoomars, located in the city’s historic district, is a petting zoo offering fun and activities for all ages. Family owned and operated, this business provides visitors with a memorable experience. This spot is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With 100 farm animals to watch and feed, there’s plenty to enjoy when visiting here.

Families can stop by the guinea pig pen, where children are invited to pet and feed the small animals. Kids can also pet, brush, and feed the goats and sheep or ride a pony in the small corral. Other animals to visit include pigs, a llama, an emu, an alpaca, chickens, and a cow. When you’re ready to take a break from petting the animals, you can stop by the playground, pan for gold, or hitch a train ride through the farm.

4. Los Rios Historic District

When searching for a custom home builder in San Juan Capistrano, families may want to ask for a construction project nearby Search New WindowLos Rios Street Historic District. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in California, this district’s past is memorialized in the three original adobe structures in the area. There are also 40 other homes in the area, although the original three give the district its authentic feel. Walk along the tranquil streets and visit the businesses open all day, including spots like the eclectic Hummingbird Cottage, the O’Neill Museum, and the Lemon Drop Grove for gifts. Children will love Los Rios Park, located within the district’s bounds.

5. Capistrano Depot

Get a ticket for the train at the historic Search New WindowCapistrano Depot, located right next to the Los Rios Historic District. Constructed in 1894, the train depot was designed uniquely with arches, a dome, a fireplace, and a mission bell. A train ride is fun, and families can also hop on the train to tour The Mission or visit the restaurant Trevors and the Tracks nearby.

6. Dana Point Harbor

White and blue boat on sea under white sky during daytimePhoto courtesy of Unsplash

Families looking for things to do in San Juan Capistrano can enjoy a day out on the water at Search New WindowDana Point Harbor. The water activities here are endless, with the equipment to accommodate all types of fun. Spend a day on the ocean watching migrating gray and blue whales breach the calm Pacific waters year-round, or cast a line to fish on the pier, balanced on a kayak, or from a fishing charter. Those wanting to stay close to the shore can rent a paddle board or jet ski, join a yoga class with an ocean view, or plan a picnic by the water.

This harbor also hosts events year-round, making it an excellent place for families looking for a morning or evening activity. Groups can browse the shops surrounding the area, from the organic and locally inspired pieces at Search New WindowArt Sea to tasty handmade treats at Search New WindowChocolate Soldier. And nothing beats dinner with an ocean view. Families can grab a slice or two at Search New WindowBeach Harbor Pizza.

7. Doheny State Beach

Another nearby ocean spot is Search New WindowDoheny State Beach, popular with residents for the surfing beach to the north, campgrounds to the south, and tide pools to explore. Families can walk through the visitor center to view the aquariums or spend a day on the five-acre lawn outfitted with volleyball courts and picnic areas. With 62 acres of oceanfront views, there’s plenty of space to lounge near the water, jump in and swim, or enjoy the views.

Ready to have fun?

There are several activities for families in San Juan Capistrano to try out, making it a great spot to settle down and explore. If you’re interested in building a home immersed in the city’s history, contact experienced agent HomeEddie Hodges to guide you through the process. Eddie and the team at Opulent Design Build set the standard for luxury builds in and around San Juan Capistrano. HomeReach us now as your next big step toward a brand-new luxury home.

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash
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