Reata Park in San Juan Capistrano features native gardens and an arboretum with mighty oaks and shady sycamores. It’s nice to have some protected open space in the middle of all the development around Ortega Highway and Antonio Parkway.
Directions to Reata Park and Event Center: Take Ortega Highway east from Interstate 405. Reata Park will be on your right just before you reach Antonio Parkway / La Pata. Turn right at the traffic light at Reata Road. MAP TO REATA PARK AND EVENT CENTER
- Place to reflect and get ideas for native gardening at home
- Bring a picnic lunch and explore – the whole outing could take 30 minutes to an hour
- Big sycamore trees and shady paths for families to explore together – keep an eye out for butterflies!
- Event center for picnics and group events or parties
- Historic Ramos Ranch House transformed into a Welcome Center (we’ve never been on the property when the Welcome Center is actually open)
- As you drive in the gate, you will can bear to the left and park in one of the many spots. The main garden area is right in front of you across from the bike path. You can explore the bike path, gardens, and main picnic area from this parking spot.
- Drive further past the farm building and loop around to where you will pass the Arboretum on your left and the Welcome Center on your right. A nice big sycamore rests in a stone planter outside the building.
- Catch up with the bike trail (click on PDF of SJC bike trail map)
- See orange groves and give your kids an idea of what OC used to look like with oranges!
- Nice restrooms
- No entrance fees
- Stay on the trails and no collecting of rocks, trees, plants, or artifacts
- Backs up to a wild area so rattlesnakes could easily be on the paths (just like anywhere in OC!)
- Even though it’s in San Juan Capistrano, it’s near the corner of Ortega Highway and San Antonio Parkway where it can be rather HOT. So pick a cool day to explore.
- Plentiful rules posted – make sure you are aware of them
- Some road noise from the busy streets nearby
- Open 7:30am to sunset
- No playground
- Nature paths, gardens & trees
- Gates close off the property – I’m assuming for private events or evening hours (although I have never driven by when they’ve been closed
- Official San Juan Open Space Foundation website – see a 1.5 minute video of the space
- Reserve this space by contacting the City of San Juan Capistrano Community Services Department
- Adventure Play Park at Sendero Field – right across the street