Credit: Katie Oswald
Credit: Katie Oswald

6 Date Ideas in San Juan Capistrano for the Adventurous Duo

Discover the Historical Romance of Orange County’s Oldest City

Whether you’re a San Juan local or you’re looking to mix things up, San Juan Capistrano’s historic charm is the perfect setting for rekindling your romance! As the birthplace of Orange County, this time-honored town sits inland of Dana Point and is known for its classical allure. The natural beauty of San Juan has been preserved over the years with farmland and acres of scenic trails. Take a trip down memory lane through the vibrant downtown district decked with brick buildings and saloon-style shops for a break from the hustle and bustle of surrounding cities. There’s so much to see and explore with your sweetheart in this vibrant town!


Beers at The Dog Pawrk Brewing Company

date ideas san juan capistrano - The Dog Pawrk Brewing Company
Credit: Katie Oswald


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Whether your date is a dog person or cat person can be a deal breaker. Figure this out early and easily by inviting them to The Dog Pawrk Brewing Company! This local San Juan brewery focuses on providing exceptional beers, but the best part is that furry friends are allowed, so your dog can be the real judge of your date! Experimenting with creative and palate-pleasing flavors including hop characters, fruited favorites, sours, seltzers and barrel aged beers is their passion. Be bold and order the Sexy & I Know Wit or let your date know you’re interested with the Crush: Sour Series. They also have delicious and easy-to-eat bites like warm pretzels with cheese, charcuterie boards and Los Golondrinas, tasty Mexican takeout, is next door. Looking to spice things up? Show off your smarts on trivia Tuesdays, or swing by for Live Music on Saturdays, grab a board game and impress your date by getting the pinball high score. If you’re a sports lover, The Dog Pawrk has you covered with large TVs, lots of games and football on Monday, Thursday and Sunday!


Brunch at Ramos House Cafe

Show your loved one how much you care with reservations at Ramos House Cafe, San Juan’s  most charming brunch spot! Put on your button-ups and dresses and stroll down the flowery street of Los Rios to this historical hideaway. With herbs grown in the garden and a seasonal menu that changes by the day, this contemporary American restaurant exudes fairy-tale romance. Brunch consists of a two-course meal—for something sweet, opt for cinnamon apple beignets to start! If you like savory, grilled oysters are an aphrodisiac…


Alfresco Dinner at The Ecology Center

The Ecology Center
Credit: Akin Odebunmi

One of the largest public farms in Orange County, The Ecology Center revolutionizes modern culture by providing education for healthier communities. And they do so in the most aesthetically pleasing way! From murals to rainbowed arches, this farm is like no other. If you’re on a first date, visit the farmstand for locally grown flowers and produce. Celebrating a milestone? Opt for seats under the stars at a community table dinner. These rustic family feasts with renowned chefs book weeks in advance, so be sure to plan ahead!


Catch a Flick at San Juan Capistrano’s Regency Theatres


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A date night at San Juan Capistrano’s Regency Theatres is not your typical movie night. Located in historic downtown San Juan, the brick building and vintage marquee will have you feeling the romance of a simpler era. The bulb-lit movie posters on the outside of the building and curtain-lined theaters will transport you to a ‘50s date night. Snuggle up, share some popcorn and if all goes well, finish the evening with a glass of wine across the street at Rancho Capistrano Winery.


Explore Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano
Credit: Mission San Juan Capistrano

As a wedding destination and historical landmark, the timeless beauty of Mission San Juan Capistrano is the perfect setting for a date! Tours will guide you through 10-acres of flowering gardens, trickling fountains and adobe architecture. Steal a kiss in the sacred garden adjacent to the Serra Chapel, which showcases four chiming bell towers and a secluded fountain to unwind by. While full of history, there is always something new to see at the Mission, such as the Dia de los Muertos altars and holiday light show!

Go Horseback Riding Through Sycamore Canyon

date ideas san juan capistrano - horseback riding
Credit: Sergiu Vălenaș on Unsplash

This one is for all our romantics out there! No date is right out of a storybook more than horseback riding through the scenic trails of Sycamore Canyon. Trot underneath the trees for a fairy-tale adventure! Meet the horses, feed them a carrot or two and ride with professional trainers for a unique experience that both you and your date will never forget. Never ridden horseback? No worries! Trail rides are made accessible for most abilities. Howdy partner!

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Lover of the beach, food and fitness, Emily enjoys exploring all sunny Southern California has to offer! She has a passion for sharing about her favorite local gems and began writing for Locale in 2022. On the weekends, find her creating recipes for her food blog or out in Laguna!


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