What you'll do
We’ll meet at the railroad crossing at the bottom of Verdugo street in downtown SJC, and immediately begin our walking tour across the tracks to the entrance gate of the oldest adobe, on the oldest residential street of California. You will learn how deep ranchero roots run here, where the 9th, 10th, and 11th generation of the Rios family still live. A few steps north past the hollowed out Pepper tree and its’ own folktale, is another 2 room adobe. Folklore and historic fact begin to blend as I guide guests inside more structures including 19th century bungalows and the 1895 Santa Fe train depot. Across the RR tracks from this landmark as we step inside one 1868 board and batten, the most compelling story of Modesta Avila will be shared. By opening a window into her young life just 15 ft from the railroad tracks, and retracing her steps past the current depot where she protested in an act of defiant desperation against the powerful railroad with fatal consequence, you will undoubtedly understand why her spirit still haunts these properties. We finish our tour and more stories of apparitions by locals, with a complementary drink at the popular Trevors at the Tracks patio bar!
I am an architectural walking tour guide, design assistant with a local architectural firm, a photographic artist and 30 year resident of this historic southern California town, San Juan Capistrano. As an activist and community member of the non-profit Friends of the Library of SJC, and the SJC Historical Society, my interest in the earliest buildings of the oldest residential street in California, grew into a passion for this neighborhood's character and personalities. The 18th & 19th century adobes and board & batten bungalows and the historic 1895 Santa Fe train Depot adjacent to the railroad crossing where Amtrak/Metrolink stop daily, is rich with legendary residents who still haunt this hood! An intimate sharing of their stories, homes and spirits will keep this early ranchero life alive for you.
A coupon toward a refreshment of choice, redeemable at the final stop, the popular trackside patio bar, Trevor's at the…
A peek & step inside with me, your personal guide, into the jail cell in the cellar of the El Adobe restaurant, as well as…
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Where you'll be
After the historic Rios Adobe, the oldest still occupied residence in California, we stroll a few steps down to the Montanez, Avila, and Yorba adobes, glimpsing 19th century lives. We'll explore the 1870 Combs board and batten, a Craftsman bungalow, and the renovated and popular 1895 depot. Each stop includes tales of sheriffs, posses, judges or constables chasing outlaws or imprisoning protestors. The Wild West still haunts this hood!
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Things to keep in mind
Any experience can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.
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Up to 8 guests ages 18 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age. No requirements, just a curiosity and interest in California history and legendary persons of the early California ranchero era. If you have a toddler or…
You’ll need to take a picture of yourself that matches the photo on your ID. This is so Airbnb can confirm who’s actually going on the experience. You’ll only have to do this once.
This cultural walking tour explores buildings on the National Registrar of Historic Places , some open to us as restaurants, cafes, boutiques, or operating train depot, others are private homes. Some we enter, some we may stand on their porches & in yards, and 2 jail cells as a guided tour.
Airbnb Experiences are vetted for quality
Airbnb Experiences are vetted for quality
- Local experts
Led by locals who love where they’re from and what they do.
- Small groups
With intimate group sizes, you’ll never get lost in the crowd.
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Every experience is reviewed for unique access.
Stroll SoCal History and Haunted Homes