When Father Lasuen founded Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1775, he created the 7th of modern California's 21 missions, which were intended to serve as epicenters of Christianity and Spanish culture in the New World. The mission system fell into disarray and disrepair during the war for Mexican independence and the Mexican-American War, but San Juan Capistrano remains, standing as a relic of that era and a testament to California's historical mélange of European and Native American cultures.
The mission invites visitors to learn more about the region’s history by exploring 10 acres of preserved adobe architecture, fountains, and gardens. Audio tours give groups a unique insight into the site's stories, and rotating exhibits feature artwork as well as historical and religious artifacts from San Juan Capistrano. Hands-on activities allow guests to recreate the experience of centuries-old mission life by making adobe bricks, panning for gold, or connecting computers to dial-up modems.
The oar claspers of Newport Harbor Kayak Fishing expertly tour the harbor's hotspots for bass, halibut, and even warm-weather barracuda or bonito. Most of the bay's feisty pisces will gamely battle dugout-buoyed sportsmen, quite unlike the capitulating barrel-flounder. The glassy, eelgrass-tufted waters of Newport Harbor are the most popular tour destination of these paddle-powered trawlers, and one of the few homes globally to the spotted bay bass. Lure casters of all skill levels should consult the list of requisite gear, which includes sunscreen, food and water, and drenchable clothing. Live bait, if desired, is purchasable on-site for about $20. This tour is for catch-and-release fishing only, so don't plan on taking home any souvenirs for mounting or alibi confirmation.
Atop Pirate Coast Paddle Co.’s fleet of standup paddleboards, guests glide over the placid inlets of Newport Beach Back Bay in scenic excursions. The paddleboards—which look like slightly larger, heavier surfboards—offer a sturdy enough base for guests to stand upright and propel themselves with a single oar, an action that exercises core muscles better than doing sit-ups with a porpoise on your chest.
Led by a staff of nautical guides, paddleboarding tours send clients into the orange horizon during sunset paddle outings and enjoy an ocean view of the stars during full-moon SUP parties. Pirate Coast also offers private, semi-private, and group lessons. During all excursions, Pirate Coast provides boards and necessary equipment rentals, letting clients worry about how to stave off scurvy while on the ocean.
A boat zips along through the water, trailing behind it an open parachute elevated to almost a quarter-mile in the air. This isn't a scene from a spy movie, but rather a scenic parasailing tour from California Parasail, whose lines can lift patrons up to 1,200 feet above the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. As parasailers relax into their harnesses and take in breathtaking panoramic views, they can also take comfort in knowing they're in safe hands––all captains hold a US Coast Guard license and all crew members adhere to the practices of the Water Sports Industry Association. They operate runs throughout Avalon and Catalina Island, as well as Balboa Island, Newport Beach, and Long Beach, allowing patrons to glimpse views of different coastal areas and befriend cumulus clouds with varying regional dialects.
Two terrace-section tickets to "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" on Saturday, August 6, at 8 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine (a $112 value). Four tickets to The Chuck Jones Big Draw on Sunday, August 7, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the South Coast Collection shopping center in Costa Mesa (a $40 value). 10 Drop In and Draw art sessions at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Orange (up to a $150 value).
Kelly and John King's athletic history is extensive and diverse—they've climbed up rocky cliffs, paddleboarded oceans, and cartwheeled across balance beams. Out of all their fitness-related experiences, however, they praise CrossFit as being one of the most elite and effective they've encountered. The CrossFit-certified Level 1 trainers conduct classes within their 5,300-square-foot studio, leading students through high-intensity routines of functional exercises. The trainers design their workouts to foster the 10 skills of CrossFit, which include cardiovascular endurance, stamina, and strength. They scale movements to accommodate students of all experience levels, ages, and abilities, from former athletes recovering from injuries to elderly sailors who’ve forgotten where they stashed their spinach. The coaches encourage their students to follow the paleo diet, which favors grass-fed meats, seafood, and fresh produce in lieu of processed foods.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.