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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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OC Weekly Honors Two South County Coffee Roasters Among OC’s Best

Don Juan Ortega is a bit of a coffee nerd and has tried nearly every coffee house in Orange County at some point. The OC Weekly published its list of the top 5 coffee roasters in Orange County and Don Juan extends a hearty caffeine-infused congratulations to one his favorites — Hidden House Coffee Roasters [...]

San Juan Chamber Launches Redesigned Website

If you have not done so, take a look at the newly redesigned website for the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce, available here. The new web site does a great job compiling all of the shopping, dining, equestrian and special events available in San Juan. Special sections are devoted to the Camino Real Playhouse, [...]

Join the “Paws in the Garden” Garden and Historic Cottage Tour on May 10

Here’s another fun local event for a good cause: a garden and historic cottage tour in and around the Los Rios Historic District while benefitting the Ark of San Juan, a local animal rescue organization.

More information is available here.


Save the Date for San Juan Holiday Events

There are lots of exciting holiday events coming up in and around San Juan Capistrano. Below are details on two fun holiday events, courtesy of the City:

December 7th – Tree Lighting Celebration

Join us for our annual Tree Lighting Celebration on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at Historic Town Center Park, 31852 El Camino Real, [...]

Los Angeles Times Honors Ilse Byrnes for Historic Preservation

The Los Angeles Times has published a lengthy story highlighting the historical preservation work of Ilse Byrnes. It is a fitting tribute to a citizen who has spent nearly 40 years working to protect Orange County’s historical legacy, and especially that of San Juan Capistrano. She is directly responsible for listing 13 sites on the [...]

City Council Denies Hummingbird House Cafe’s Application for Alcohol Sales

We recently discussed Hummingbird House’s application for limited alcohol sales at its Los Rios Street restaurant. That decision was delayed, but in an encouraging move, the San Juan Capistrano City Council asked staff to make a recommendation on how beer and wine sales might be permitted within the Los Rios Historic District. Unfortunately, this week [...]

The Fate of Juan the Dinosaur Will be Decided Tonight

If you’ve been following local news in San Juan Capistrano, you know about the controversy over Juan the Dinosaur — the Apatosaurus replica that was installed at Zoomars Petting Zoo and that has some critics worried about the potential impact on Los Rios’s historical designation. Mostly recently, the Planning Commission rejected Juan’s permit application, stating [...]