Thursday, April 16, 2015

Capistrano, City of Swallows

Halfway between California's golden cities, Los Angeles and San Diego, is San Juan Capistrano.  The town has a history spanning four centuries, housing not only the oldest structure in California at the Mission Capistrano, but also the oldest residential neighborhood in our state, Los Rios District.  I love to visit the city center at least once a year for vintage shopping, an afternoon lunch, or to visit the mission.

Today was a typical gorgeous afternoon, the sun was out, bougainvilleas draping the streets, and there was a perfect ocean breeze as we strolled the town.  My vintage wool trousers were just enough in the morning, but once the sun peaked I decided to slip into my '50s, cotton, square dancing dress, trimmed in metallic teal and silver rick rack.  The dress was quite sparkly for this rustic city, but I didn't hear anyone complaining. 

Luckily, for anyone living near or traveling the California Amtrak, San Juan Capistrano has a stop at their train depot, which dates back to 1894.  Today they have retired train cars used as their ticket booth, and additional ones housing shops and restaurants.  From there you can cross over the tracks to visit the Los Rios neighborhood, which has more than 30 historically registered homes, including three original adobes built in 1794.  You could easily spend half your day walking the community gardens, getting a bite to eat at one of the cafes, or just slowing it down and admiring the unique streets of the adorable community.

Cross the tracks and you'll notice this is the busier part of the city center.  There are several souvenir shops, restaurants, a large antique mall, and of course, Mission Capistrano.  This mission, founded in 1776, is a gorgeous place of courtyard gardens between adobe walls and small buildings, and holds the oldest structure in California, the church chapel built in 1782.  I did not enter the mission today (I've already been about ten times), but found there is just as much to appreciate surrounding it.  The pictures below are just a handful of the beauty this culture-rich city holds… 

<3 Tara

Tshirt by Mischief Made Me
Retired train cars

A neighborhood favorite, Sarducci's Restaurant
The Vintage Steak House restaurant, seems appropriate... 

A standout streamline style building amongst Spanish design, love it! 
Can I live here? The Esslinger Building built in 1939.
Not taking myself too seriously 

Wool pants only last so long in California, had to get out my cotton dress
The bougainvilleas were in full bloom, and in all colors!
Walking the historic Los Rios streets, oh-so charming!
The perimeter adobe wall of Mission Capistrano
I LOVE bougainvillea!!!


  1. Replies
    1. Aw thanks, they are my new favorite sandals!

  2. Gorgeous place! These photos are soo fabulous.

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