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.
Schooling hitters with its Iron Mike professional pitching machines, training cages, and certified instructors, the Laguna Beach hitting emporium helps sharpen the swings of players of all ages. All machines within the outdoor, mesh-shielded facility pelt backstops at a distance of 46 feet from home plate–allowing batters to hone their timing–and are capable of simulating real-life pitching speeds between 35 and 85 mph, while catering to left handers, right handers, and no handers alike.
The instructors at Rado's Fitness, including the titular Rado himself, lead students through challenging Pilates and spin classes within their fully stocked studio. They use the core-tightening exercises of Pilates and the high-cardio, low-impact nature of spinning to help students of all levels build strength, flexibility, and confidence.
The blue LED lights shining throughout Bright Smile Teeth Whitening’s office glow with purpose—to activate and oxidize the system’s specially formulated whitening gel. In just 30 minutes, this duo tag-teams the stains that result from using tobacco, drinking coffee, or mistaking a quill for a toothpick, lightening teeth up to six shades. Bright Smile also downsizes its system to make it feasible for at-home shading, even providing a compact blue light that fits snugly in mouths.
The friendly staff at OceanaFit tinkers with its patrons' postures and the studio's thermostat to achieve homeostatic relaxation. With a schedule of more than 40 classes a week, even people without pencils can find time to pencil in sessions. OceanaFit's class offerings include introductory sessions, which focus on the alignment, postures, and breathing central to Vinyasa-style yoga, and subsequent classes apply those skills in hotter environments. OceanaFit makes both yoga veterans malleable as warm wax and neophytes unable to touch their toes feel equally welcome.
Evolution Swim Academy has one goal: help youngsters feel comfortable in the water. To that end, the pool is heated to a soothing temperature and expert instructors hone strokes such as the freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly while emphasizing safety. Their class sequence starts with the basics: a firm grasp of swimming fundamentals such as side-breathing, swimming short distances, and refraining from drinking all the pool water. Aquatic adventurers as young as six months are welcome, joining Parent & Me classes for fun kicking and floating drills. As they grow, children undergo more rigorous training, culminating in high-level courses that prep students for competition.