San Juan Capistrano is a seaside city in Orange County, California, located south of Laguna Beach and north of Dana Point.
The city’s population was 57,874 as of the 2010 census, up from 57,233 at the 2000 census. The beginning of the historic period is set to around 1542 when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first claimed the area for Spain. It eventually became part of the 48,671 acres Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit—a land grant that included present-day Ventura and parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
The city was incorporated by some Californios in the 19th century. It was once a stop on the historic Alta California Route 66 and is known for its California Polytechnic State University; secluded beaches; and as the home base for Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign.
Over million years ago, during the Jurassic Period, it is believed that a crustal plate carrying existing North America, began to move very slowly westward over a hotspot in the Earth’s mantle at about 8 to 10 miles (13 to 16 km) per million years. This created what is now known as the Pacific Plate and caused an unstable situation resulting in crustal deformation and ultimately volcanic activity.
The San Juan Capistrano area has many activities, events, and attractions for all ages. From the beaches and parks to the shopping and dining, the area offers plenty for residents and visitors alike.
The city is known for its historic Mission, founded in 1776 by Spanish missionaries. The Mission is home to one of the largest Native American gathering places in California.
The Mission is also known as a center of cultural festivities and community gatherings. In fact, the Mission was recently named one of America’s favorite historic small towns by Travel + Leisure magazine.
There’s plenty of art to be found throughout the city, including several large sculptures at the Orange County Transportation Center. There’s also an extensive art collection at Capistrano Beach County Park, including more than 20 bronzes and stone carvings created by artist Beniamino Bufano.
During the summer months, you can visit the Fun Zone at Capistrano Beach County Park. The Fun Zone hosts many free family-friendly events like movies under the stars, concerts, and more.
Laguna Beach is a small, unincorporated seaside resort village located in Orange County, California. The town is known for its mild year-round climate, scenic coves, rocky cliffs, and large population of feral Chihuahuas. The 2010 census recorded 5,565 residents in the census-designated place (CDP).
The community is known for an art scene that dates back to the early 1960s. Laguna Beach attracts a diverse crowd of artists from across the nation, creating an environment in which creativity is encouraged and appreciated.
The town was once home to historic hotels which were popular with the late 19th and early 20th century tourists. The oldest of these hotels is the Bluebird Cottage, which was built in 1887. It was purchased by Robert Jiranek and used as a print studio until it burned down in the 1970s.
The Laguna Beach coastline includes steep cliffs that drop directly into the ocean and numerous coves with sandy beaches. The main beach is a long stretch of sandy shoreline bordered by the rocky coasts on both sides. It is about five miles long and wide at its widest point. Crescent Bay is a neighborhood beach located south of Doheny State Beach and north of Heisler Park.
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