In Orange County in southern California and about 30 minutes south of Anaheim along Interstate 5, Mission Viejo is a planned community founded in 1965. On a former Spanish mission, they built the community, and later on, it's called a cattle ranch.
Today, both residents and visitors can take advantage of a wide variety of free activities throughout the city, including several outdoor sites ideal for enjoying the temperate southern California climate.
While Orange County, in general, is a very popular vacation destination, Mission Viejo is one of its cities that s often overlooked. But the truth is, Mission Viejo is a hidden treasure and awaits for you to explore the place.
Outside of the dozens of fabulous restaurants, here are a few cool things you can check out if you're looking for something to do on a Saturday Afternoon.
Find the perfect gift or fulfill your style and taste. This city makes the search easy-experience shopping in Mission Viejo and finds yourself coming back for more, from designer options to affordable finds.
See the city in another light. As the sun sets and the parties start doing their magic, you’ll get to know Southern California better. Then, do it right by experiencing the best of the nightlife in Mission Viejo.
Do you feel the most alive when you are in the great outdoors? If so, this popular Mission Viejo trail is for you. It was started in 1997 as the residents of Mission Viejo come together and celebrate not only the Earth but also the arts.
This trail is 5.5 miles long, with beautiful sites like the Butterfly Garden and the Wave Wall. Oso Creek cuts through Mission Viejo as a tributary of the San Juan Creek, one of the largest waterways in Orange County. A community collaboration that started in 1997 led to the development of the Oso Creek Trail, which features 5 1/2 miles of hiking, walking, and bicycling paths along the creek's banks. It is designed as a walking garden, and the trails are lined with more than 130,000 different plants that volunteers have cultivated. A plant maze offers fun for kids, while the Peace Obelisk pays tribute to victims of the 9/11 attacks. The Oso Creek Route is a 3.2-mile paved hiking trail and bicycling trail that connects the Jeronimo Open Space Park and the Oso Viejo Community Park. It goes along the Oso Creek below the Oso Viejo Park playground.
The Mission Viejo Library has grown from a small, county-run library to a large facility with almost 42,000 square feet of books, reading spaces, and rooms for activities. Residents can also take advantage of the technology center, which provides 30 computers with filtered Internet access and Microsoft Office productivity tools. Children can use the multimedia learning station located in the children’s section. In addition, the children’s area features homework help and storytimes for younger children. The library walls host a rotating collection of paintings, photographs, and other works from local artists.
Parents looking for educational, enriching, and uplifting movies to show their families can take them to see the monthly Movies of Character series (missionviejolife.org) at the Mission Viejo City Hall. Free screenings highlight films that show examples of outstanding moral character. Films previously shown include “Pinocchio,” “My Fair Lady,” and “The Blind Side,” and screenwriter Robert Eisele was a guest during a screening of his film “The Great Debaters” in February 2011.
The Mission Viejo Skateboard Facility is a free, 9,000-square-foot skate park at Beebe Park. The complex includes a concrete bowl, vert wall, boxes and a range of street obstacles. A city ordinance requires that skateboarders and in-line skaters wear proper safety equipment, including helmets and pads, before using the park. Families who want to beat the heat can hit the pool at the Sierra Fitness and Recreation Center, which offers free swimming, lap swimming and a children’s play area with a waterslide.
Lake Mission Viejo is an artificial reservoir with roughly 124 acres of surface water and 50 acres of land for recreational uses. Lake Mission Viejo was created by damming Oso Creek's canyon. It has two beaches, Playa del Norte (North Beach) and Playa del Este (East Beach), a full-service marina and boat launching station, picnic spaces, and a shoreline fishing area. Boating, swimming, fishing, picnics, lakeside movie nights, and summer concerts are among the other activities available, and private residential neighborhoods border the lake just south of Santiago Peak in the Santa Ana Mountains.
The Shops at Mission Viejo is a shopping mall in Mission Viejo, CA that opened in 1979 and now has over 160 retailers, including Macy's, Nordstrom, and Forever 21. The Shops at Mission Viejo is Orange County's southernmost mall, including various restaurants and cafés and service businesses like H&M, Apple, Microsoft, Sephora, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, and The Cheesecake Factory. The Shops at Mission Viejo, conveniently located at the junction of I-5 and Crown Valley Parkway, serve several neighboring neighborhoods, including Coto de Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch, and the city of Mission Viejo.
The Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club is an 18-hole championship-length golf course built by Tom Lehman that provides a tough and memorable golf experience. The 240-acre, designed by renowned golf course architect Casey O'Callaghan, is surrounded by the magnificent landscapes of the Ladera Open Space Reserve and Trabuco Creek, with spectacular vistas from every tee and hole. The club holds several significant tournaments throughout the year, has a casual café and grill that offers breakfast, lunch, and supper in a relaxing setting with outdoor patio seating, and maybe hired for special occasions and festivities such as weddings and receptions.
Rancho Lago is a ranch located in the state of California. Santa Margarita Lake, also known as Rancho Santa Margarita Lake, is an 11.5-acre lake in the shadow of Mount Modjeska and Mount Santiago that offers year-round recreational opportunities. The lovely lake, which is just one foot deep in some parts, is open year-round for swimming, fishing, boating, and other water activities, as well as hiking trails and mountain biking along the 1.1-mile coastal walking route. Every spring, the lake is stocked with bass, bluegill, and catfish, and it holds activities such as the annual Fishing Derby in May and Fourth of July celebrations.
Dublin 4 Gastropub is a traditional Irish pub-style diner that serves traditional Irish and New American food to eat and various craft beers and brews in a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere. Dublin 4 Gastropub, which opened on St. Patrick's Day in 2012, provides a memorable drinking and dining experience with a curated menu of chef-driven flavorful cuisine featuring the best fresh, farm-to-table ingredients. You can choose between local draught beers, craft beers, handcrafted cocktails, whiskeys, spirits, liqueurs, and global wines for beverages. Dublin 4 Gastropub, open for lunch and supper seven days a week, is ideal for celebrations in a casual, calm, and inviting atmosphere.
The Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park, located just five kilometers southeast of Mission Viejo in Trabuco Canyon, is a good alternative for budget-conscious outdoor lovers.
The park is open early in the morning and closes after dusk. Some tourists, however, find the low light morning and evening hours to be the most appealing.
It's also when the crowds are the lightest, and animals that have been elusive throughout the day come out to feed.
Visitors may park for a nominal charge each day and walk along with a network of well-marked trails that lead to bridges, streams, wooded areas, and a butterfly garden.
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