Mission Viejo is located in Orange County, Calif. Primarily serving as a residential city, it is intersected by I-5 Freeway. The surrounding streets to the freeway include shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Mission Viejo would indicate a relationship to California's missions and indeed, the city's history does provide tantalizing clues as to how it may have received its name.
Mission Viejo was part of the 52, 000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo. In1769 Spaniard Gaspar de Portola led an expedition from Mexico and claimed the land for Spain. Seven years later, the ranch witnessed the first attempt to found Mission San Juan Capistrano. Although lack of water forced the friars to relocate and the whereabouts of this old mission remain a mystery, the name Mission Viejo bears testimony to this structure's sojourn in San Juan Canyon more than two hundred years ago.
In 1821 when ties with Spain were broken, English trader John Forster married the Mexican governor's sister and acquired the three ranchos historically known as El Trabuco, Mission Viejo, and Los Potreros. His estate was in shambles, and his sons were forced to sell in 1907 when Irish cattleman Richard O'Neill acquired an undivided interest in Rancho El Trabuco and Rancho Mission Viejo. His grandchildren, Richard O'Neill and Alice O'Neill Avery, decided to sell 10, 000 acres to Donald Bren, Philip J. Reilly, and James Toepfer, who formed Mission Viejo Company circa 1963. In 1965, a master plan for Mission Viejo was approved. In 1966 residents moved into the new neighborhoods near the intersection of La Paz Road and Chrisanta Drive.
Things to see:
The Shops at Mission Viejo includes Disney's New Magical Store designed as a one-of-a kind interactive destination for Disney fans of all ages. Operated by Simon, the mall includes favorites such as this list of shops. Please note that the stores and names change often so you should check with the mall directory before going (simon.com)
Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, Akoo | Social Music Television, Aldo Shoes, American Eagle Outfitters, American Greetings, Ann Taylor, Apple Computer, Apricot Lane , Arden B., Armani A|X Exchange, AT&T, Aveda Experience Center, BabyGap, Bag 'n Baggage Banana Republic, barkworks (Pet Store), Bath & Body Works, BCBGeneration, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Beachworks, bebe, Ben Bridge Jewelers, Borders Express, Brighton Collectibles, Brookstone, Build-A-Bear Workshop®, Top, Caché, Cafe Nordstrom, Capistrano Unified School District Fresh Start Independent Study Program, Carlton Hair International, Cathy Jean Shoes, Charley's Grilled Subs, Charlotte Russe, Cheesecake Factory, The, Chico's, Claire's, Coach, Coldwater Creek, Crazy 8, Crepes De Paris, Crewcuts by J.Crew, Top, Daisy Shoppe, Destination Maternity, Disney Store, The, Dr. Thomas E. Amen, Optometrist, Top, Everything But Water, Express, Express for Men and Women, Top, Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant, Fashion Nails & Spa, Fast Fix Jewelry & Watch Repair, First Cut for Kids, Forever 21, Fredric H. Rubel, fye - For Your Entertainment, Top, GameStop, Gap, GapBody, GapKids, Gloria Jeans, GNC, Godiva Chocolatier, Great Khan's, Guest Services Center, Gymboree, Top, H&M, Haagen-Dazs, Top, International Elegance, Top, J. Stephens, J.Crew, Jamba Juice, Janie and Jack, Jersey Joe's Jerseys, Justice, Top, Kevin's Jewelers, Top, Lady Foot Locker, Lane Bryant, LensCrafters, LOFT, London Coin Galleries, Love D, Lucky Brand Dungarees, lucy, Top, MAC Cosmetics, Macy*s, McDonald's, Microsoft, Milano Shoes, Muscle Beach Lemonade and Hot Dogs, Top, Naartjie, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Espresso Bar, Top, Old Navy, Origins, Top, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, PacSun, Panda Express, Papyrus, Paradise Bakery & Cafe, Payless ShoeSource, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pro Active, Top, QF Professional Jewelry and Watch Repair, Top, Regis Salons, Restoration Hardware, Rosetta Stone, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill, Ruby's Diner, Top, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sarku Japan, See's Candies, Sephora, Skechers, Sleep Number by Select Comfort, Something Silver, Spencer Gifts, Steve Madden, Stride Rite, Subway, Sunglass Hut, Swarovski Crystal, Sweet Factory, Swiss Watch Gallery and Fine Jewelers, Top, Talbots, Teavana, The Body Shop, The Children's Place, The Walking Company, Ticketmaster, Time After Time, T-Mobile, Tommy Bahama, Toni & Guy, Toy Story, True Religion, Top, Vans, Victoria's Secret, Villa Pizza, Vogue, Top, Watch Works, Wet Seal, Wetzel's Pretzels., White House | Black Market, Williams-Sonoma, Top, Yankee Candle, Top, Z Gallerie, Zales Jewelers, Zara
Saddleback Community College is one of the largest community colleges in south Orange County.
Kaleidoscope Courtyards includes a movie theater and game attraction. It is visible from the 1-5 Freeway and is located at I-5 and Crown Valley Parkway, Mission Viejo, CA
Mission Viejo Town Center includes World Market and other great stores.
Where to eat:
Thai, Persian, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, Greek, French and American restaurants are among more than 200 restaurants in Mission Viejo.