See California's Missions, All 21!


Few take the journey along the El Camino Real (which is mostly Highway 1 & 101) in California to see California's 21 missions. Beginning in the 1700's the missions were built, each a day's journey away from the next, mostly near the California coast. From San Diego to Sonoma, most have been rebuilt to maintain a part of history that easily could be lost. Usually made of adobe style brick, earthquakes and the hands of time have taken their toll on the missions throughout California. But thanks to civic groups, the missions that have been rebuilt, reinforced and made safe are generally open to to tourists for a fee, allowing you to wander and look at displays dedicated to the history of each place.

If you can see all the missions, you have done very well. Just visit one or two if you can, and you quickly become a fan, learning about important names in history like Father Junipero Serra who was responsible for establishment of the California missions. Some favorites that aren't difficult to miss include off Interstate 101 on the Central California coast-Mission Santa Barbara, Mission Santa Ynez, Mission La Purisima Concepcion, and Mission San Miguel.

1 Basilica San Diego de Alcala 10818 Mission Rd., SD 1769
11 La Purisima Concepcion Near Lompoc, off 101 1787, rebuilt by original methods
13 Nuestra Senora de la Soledad off 101 1791, stood in ruins for 100 yrs.
3 San Antonio de Padua off 101 1771, one of largest restored missions
- San Antonia de Pala .. 1816, to help San Luis Rey Misison
9 San Buenaventura Main&Figueroa, Ventura 1782, last one from Fr. Serra
2 San Carlos Borreomeo Lausen Dr.,Carmel 1770,Fr.Serra buried here
17 San Fenando Rey de Espana 15151 SF Mission Blvd. 1797, Restored in 1971
6 San Francisco de Asis Dolores & 16th 1776
21 San Francisco Solano Spain & 1st 1823, northernmost & final mission
4 San Gabriel Arcangel 1120 Old Mill Rd 1771, at crossroads in California
14 San Jose 43300 Mission Blvd. 1777, noted for outstanding music
15 San Juan Bautista off 101 1797
7 San Juan Capistrano off 1-5 at Ortega 1776, swallows return annually
5 San Luis Obispo Choro & Monterey St. 1772, first to use tile tools
18 San Luis Rey de Francia off Hwy 76 1798, most successful of missions
16 San Miguel Arcangel 801 Mission 1797, last mission secularized
20 San Rafael Arcangel A & 5th 1817, founded to aid sick Indians
10 Santa Barbara Laguna & Los Olivos 1786, called most beautiful
8 Santa Clara de Asis Grant & Franklin 1777, bell dated 1798 still clangs
12 Santa Cruz School & Emmet 1791, rebuilt in 1931
19 Santa Ines 1760 Mission Dr. 1804, favorite for many
- Santa Ysabel Hwy 79 near Julien 1818, Indian burial grounds

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