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When to go

Summer is the prime time to visit for a spot of Pacific paddling – unlike the town’s inland neighbours, cooling coastal breezes keep things comfortably balmy rather than baking. Go in July or August to catch the Festival of Arts. For a less-crowded break, opt for spring or early autumn, when warm days and breezy nights make for ideal sunning and strolling conditions.

Getting there

  • Planes

    John Wayne Airport is a 20-minute drive away, so fly there if you’re coming from North American cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver. Otherwise, touch down in Los Angeles or San Diego – it’s under two hours by car or train from both.
  • Trains

    Amtrak has services connecting both LA and San Diego with San Juan Capistrano in Orange County. From there, it’s a 13-mile taxi ride.
  • Automobiles

    The town itself is easily strollable, but hire a car if you fancy a coastal road trip. It’s a 40-mile drive from Los Angeles and 72 miles from San Diego. If you’re driving from either city, plan your route via the Pacific Coast Highway – the cliff-top ocean views are well worth a little extra time on the road.