Mission Beach Boardwalk, San Diego California

Local Highlights

home \ site map \ Enlightened Explorer Travel \ about this site


San Diego Hotels

San Diego
Hotel Deals

San Diego

Vacation Rentals


Train & Bike San Juan Capistrano

By David Hail, founder of hotdateideas.com

San Juan Capistrano is well-known for the famous swallows that flock to the Old Mission in March every year like clockwork. What people may not know is the town also offers a number of historic and scenic areas that are perfect for a biking tour. This is an ideal daytrip from San Diego because the train ride up has nice views and is relatively short, plus the size of the town allows visitors to bike the historic areas and sites in around four hours including lunch. Add time on the train to that and the entire trips takes around 6-7 hours.

The big draw is the Old Mission San Juan Capistrano, which is the oldest building in California and one of the more beautiful California Missions. Founded over 200 years ago by Father Junipero Serra, the mission covers 10 acres and includes gardens, fountains, a chapel, barracks, and a number of other buildings. Other historic sites that are worth looking at include the Capistrano Train Depot and the Los Rios Historic District which contains some of the oldest residences in California, including three adobe homes built in 1794. For more information about things to do in the city, check here. After you finish with the historic sightseeing, head down Camino Capistrano to the Dana Point Harbor for some good views and a number of excellent restaurants. Here's a map of the main historic areas, you can pick up a copy at most of the local stores for free.

If you can make it up on March 19th you will be rewarded with the return of the famous Swallows of Capistrano to the Old Mission, where they will begin rebuilding their mud nests. They also put on a somewhat less spectacular show when they depart in unison on October 23.

Check the website for Amtrak train schedules and availability. The trip from the main San Diego station takes about 80 minutes, Old Town 70 minutes, Solana Beach 45 minutes, and Oceanside 30 minutes. Bike racks are generally available on the Surfliners, but you should call (800) 872-7245 to make sure they're available on your particular train and route. The racks do not accommodate recumbent, tandem, or other unusual bikes.

Depots (main SD depot listed at top)

San Diego Old Town
4005 Taylor Street
San Diego, CA 92110

Solana Beach
105 North Cedros Avenue
Solana Beach, CA 92075

235 South Tremont Street
Oceanside Transit Center
Oceanside, CA 92054


Driving Directions and Costs

Back to top


Mission Beach travel resources

San Diego Weather
San Diego Surf Report

San Diego Links
San Diego Beach Safety Info

Local Highlights & Info
The Enlightened Explorer’s Guide to San Diego Weather
San Diego Spring Break
Mission Beach Roller Coaster
Cruisin' the Mission Beach Boardwalk

San Diego Attractions

San Diego Zoo
Sea World
San Diego Wild Animal Park

More Travel Resources
Anaheim Attractions
Orange County Beaches
Santa Monica Beach
San Diego Hotels
San Diego Attractions
Mission Beach Hotels
Pacific Beach Hotels

Mission Beach hotels

Biking around Coronado
Sea Caves in La Jolla
Gliders at Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines Stargazing
Train & Bike San Juan Capistrano


Enlightened Explorer
Online Travel Guides
San Diego CA — Flagstaff AZ
[email protected]

© 2005 Enlightened Explorer
Travel Guides