Things to do in San Juan Capistrano/Dana Point?

Discussion in 'Southern California' started by Mom2micayla, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. Mom2micayla

    Mom2micayla DIS Veteran

    Aug 11, 2005
    We have a timeshare on the beach in early Nov. in San Juan Capistrano. We've been there a few times but always spend the majority of our time at DLR. We'll have at least one day (possibly 2) this trip open to just explore. We've been to the mission already and of course the beach. Can anyone recommend anything else to do in the area? We'll have our 3 children with us (all under age 5) so it needs to be kid-friendly. We will be driving so we'll have transportation.

    btw- rather not do San Diego. Been there several times before also and have done Sea World & the zoo. While I love it, I am looking for something new.

    Thanks for your advice! :)
  2. Tink33

    Tink33 Disneyland Parade High Kicker

    May 3, 2000
    My first thought was the Mission at San Juan Capistrano, but I see you have been there.

    My neighbor used to work at Dana Point harbor. I will talk to her this weekend and get some advice for you.

    How about a train ride? There is a station right there and you could go for a short trip.
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  4. ExPirateShopGirl

    ExPirateShopGirl <font color=blue>My posts are sanitized for your p

    Feb 20, 2005
    I say head up to Laguna and Newport Beach.

    Drive up the coast from San Juan Capistrano to Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. There's a great restaurant just south of Laguna called Ruby's on Coast Highway. So Cal (and now a few other places) chain. Forties style diner. VERY kid friendly! As you head north on PCH it will be on your right side. They also have a location (the original) at the end of Balboa (Newport Beach) Pier, with various locations in between.

    On the coast between Laguna and Newport are the beachside cottages seen in the movie, "Beaches." Very charming. They've also opened a restaurant there called (i think) the BeachComber.

    Have a great trip!

  5. BeccaG

    BeccaG DIS Veteran

    Jul 9, 2006
    You could take a train down to San Diego, I did that with my K class when I taught in San Juan, there are great views.

    Depending on what time of year you are going, a whale watching trip can be arranged out of Dana Point, and there is a great restraunt there called the Chart House, you must have the chocolate lava cake!

    There is also a Ruby's across the street from the mission, and as previously mentioned it is very kid friendly.

    You could do a day trip to Catalina Island which has deer and great shopping.

    In Long Beach there is the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Queen Mary, a ship which was made by the same folks as the Titanic.

    Thats all I can think of off the top of my head, have a great trip!
  6. luckcooky

    luckcooky Earning My Ears

    Jun 10, 2006
    There is a great hidden jewel in San Juan Capistrano for kids. I myself discovered it only recently after having lived in this area for many years.

    There's a petting zoo called Zoomars right next to the San Juan Capistrano train stop. I believe admission is just $2. Kids get to interact with all sorts of animals such as llamas, emus, donkeys, lambs, bunnies, etc. They also have a pony ride and miniature train. If your kids like animals, this place will keep them entertained for hours.

    Near Zoomars, there is also Omar's Bird store. The birds in this store are handfed so they're super tame and people friendly. And the birds are kept in open stands instead of cages. Visitors are encouraged to pet and interact with all sorts of birds - parrots, parakeets, cockatiels, etc. The bird store is one of my favorite places to visit in San Juan Capistrano.

    Caveat: Their birds are the sweetest things! I have a hard time leaving the store without wanting to take one home. So keep this in mind with your kids. Just remind yourself and your kids that these birds are as smart as a human child and can live for 75 years. It's quite a commitment not to be taken lightly.

    There is also a popular tea house near the train station (its name escapes me at the moment). Your kids are a bit too young for it, but it's a good one to keep in mind for future reference. It's popular with little girls. They loan out fancy flower hats and little girls get to dress up and enjoy finger sandwiches with their tea served on fancy china. It's quite a sight!
  7. Mom2micayla

    Mom2micayla DIS Veteran

    Aug 11, 2005
    I forgot I asked this question. :blush: Thanks for all the replies!

    Let's see... stayed at Newport Beach with a timeshare last Oct. so I've done that. I do love the area though and wouldn't mind going again. :)

    We've (dh and I, not the kids) have eaten at The Chart House before. Fabulous food (didn't try the cake) and a great view. Too pricey and not that kid friendly though. We ate at Ruby's when we stayed in Newport last year. We had horrible service (must have been that day?) but the food was good. :)

    We took my oldest daughter to the aquarium in Long Beach when she was around 1.5 yo. She loved it then. I'm sure they'd all love it now so that's something to consider.

    I've never been on a train before... that sounds interesting!

    Zoomars.. never heard of it but definitely sounds like something my kids would like. I'll put that on my list for sure.

    Thanks again everyone for the suggestions. :)

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