When making that drive between San Francisco and Los Angeles or San Diego, there are many tempting stops along the way, especially if you take the scenic I-101. Among the landmark attractions are a handful of missions scattered along the near-coastal highway. Some missions take just a minute or two to access from the highway exit, while Mission San Antonio de Padua is the most remote, requiring around 45 minutes (one direction) of your time to access.
Located in the Salinas Valley on lands operated by the U.S. military as part of Fort Hunter Liggett, the land that surrounds the mission comprises a small portion of the William Randolph Hearst estate. Near the mission is Milpitas Hacienda, a hunting lodge designed by Hearst’s favorite architect, Julia Morgan, who was commissioned by the world-renown publisher to build this lodge and the famous Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
Though a visit to San Antonio mission requires giving up several hours of your road time when you’re on a mission, the country roads offer an adventure that you’ll remember and the mission provides that needed quiet time to wander, explore and reflect on California’s storied past, a journey experienced in visits to all the missions.