Zoomars Petting Zoo (San Juan Capistrano, CA)

Yesterday, we took the Amtrak California Pacific Surfliner for a twenty minute train ride to historic San Juan Capistrano, CA.   We had seen it on our way to San Diego on the Amtrak before and knew that we had to check it out ourselves.  I recommend if you’re not planning on going to the San Diego Zoo or to Sea World, and only planning on visiting Old Town San Diego, to go to San Juan Capistrano instead.  It is much nicer, more quaint, and less expensive than Old Town San Diego.

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We were walking through the historic district, when we happened to walk by beekeepers collecting chunks of honey from the hive.  I was so excited, I momentarily lost my mind and began walking straight for the beehive to take this picture below.  You can see the big bowl full of honeycomb on top of their car.  I wish I had taken video and captured all of the bees swarming around the hive.

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Everything is right off the train tracks too, so we didn’t have to deal with finding transportation once we got off the train.  Zoomars Petting Zoo was easy to find and there were many restaurants right off the tracks.  Fresh off of visiting Lakewood Equestrian Center, I was wondering if it would still be worth going to another petting zoo so soon afterwards and if it would still be entertaining for the whole family, but it definitely was.  It is the best petting zoo we have visited so far, compared to the one at the OC Regional Park Zoo and Lakewood; albeit, Zoomars is pricy in comparison.  The yelp pictures don’t do it any justice nevertheless.

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Had we not seen San Juan Capistrano from the train as we were traveling through, I never would have considered going there, but I’m so glad we did.  There is a pen full of guinea pigs where toddlers, kids and grown ups can hang out for hours if they wanted, just feeding and petting the adorable little critters.  The pigs are the cutest we have ever seen so far, and the goats are quite friendly.  There is also a sweet cow, alpacas, rabbits and an emu there as well.  It’s hard not to consider becoming vegan after seeing all of these beautiful animals.

They have a $3 train ride for the kids, $5 or $8 pony/horse ride, and $4 basket of veggies to feed the animals.  There is a large playground, a haystack maze, and a corn pit as well, and it was easy to spend many hours there without getting bored.

We had hoped to try Ramos House for a late lunch/early dinner, but it was after 3 and they had already closed for the day.  Instead, we had chicken gyros at the Hummingbird Cafe next door and a latte and chocolate chip cookie from Hidden House Coffee and it was both satisfying, healthy and delicious.

I highly recommend spending the day here, and taking the Amtrak to this sleepy town.  It is well worth the trip.  Our next to-do is to pick strawberries there at South Coast Farms.

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