Essential Travel Experience #11 – Follow in the Footsteps of Junipero Serra

     Father Junipero Serra established twenty-one (21) Franciscan missions in California, beginning in 1769, while it was still a province of Mexico (New Spain). Many of these missions are still standing and offer visitors a glimpse into the architecture and culture of that time in history.

    A retracing of his travels should begin in San Diego and end up in San Francisco, to encompass the entire collection of missions. Some of the more notable missions include the following:

     Mission San Diego de Alcala (San Diego, CA)

Mission San Diego de Alcala

Mission San Juan Capistrano (San Juan Capistrano, CA)

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA) which was not actually built by Serra but by his successor

Mission Santa Barbara

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo (Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA)

Mission San Carlos de Borromeo

which is where Junipero Serra’s remains are interred.

Mission San Francisco de Asis (San Francisco, CA)

Mission San Francisco de Asis


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