Category Archives: Missions

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Mission San Luis Obispo Grounds

Father Serra

The Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, named after a bishop from Toulouse France. Founded by Junipero Serra, it is one of the few missions that remains in the same location after all these years. Facing on to the mission plaza this church has been well taken care of over the years. If you come to the mission remember it is an operating church. Masses, christenings, weddings, funerals and other events are often in progress. There is a beautiful central garden that is hidden from most people as they are not as adventurous as they might be. The central garden has roses, a big pergola dripping with grapes, a space for big BBQ’s and connects to the parking area for handicapped church members. The three old bells are on display in the garden area. Now about those bells, there are five bells on in the church belfry. Most people only see the three on the front of the church, however on the north side there are two more. Each of the five bells has a unique name and tone. There is a plaque to the left of the main entrance with the history of the last bell replacements. Continue reading

Mission San Miguel Arcángel

Mission San Miguel - National Historic Landmark

Mission San Miguel Arcangel

The Mission San Miguel is more than a national and state historic monument, it is a living piece of history for California. Founded in 1797 by Franciscan Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen its history binds the northern and southern missions in the Salinas Valley. Being only thirty-five miles from the epicenter of the 2003 San Simeon earthquake, Mission San Miguel was closed. It took many years following the earthquake to raise funds and make necessary repairs to the chapel and surrounding buildings. Luckily the repairs are finally done and the San Miguel Mission is ready for visitors, masses, weddings, and so many other events. Inside the church acoustics are incredible, and we always make a point of the midnight mass on Christmas. It is packed and fun! When the Master Chorale sings it is another treat to enjoy the sounds reverberating in the main chapel and dream of all to lovely musical history there must be in thees walls. Outside the main room is a small museum and gift shop. The gift shop always has interesting items so be sure and browse. The grounds that are all representative of the historical nature of the Mission San Miguel. They always make me stop and Continue reading

Stupid Vacations - Across the Beautiful Southwest

Mission San Xavier Del Bac

Mission San Xavier del Bac = Tucson AZ

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Mission San Xavier del Bac, nicknamed the White Dove of the Desert, is a sight to behold. We always wonder as we drive to it what a traveler must have thought in times past when they came upon this structure in the middle of almost nowhere. A thought provoking idea for sure. Mission San Xavier del Bac is a National Historic Landmark. The Mission was founded by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. The construction of the church we see today began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. This makes this the oldest intact European structure in Arizona. That is a big wow for sure.
The exterior is quite impressive. It is visible from the freeway as it is truly the White Dove of the Desert. As you approach the church in the parking lot there are many vendors selling fried bread and other works of the locals. Enjoy, this is so much fun for the adventurous.

Mission San Xavier del Bac - Tucson, AZ

So Many Cactus Varieties

When approaching the church the grounds have so many types of cactus. Healthy cactus in so many shapes, sizes, types of needles, colors, and flowers too! Take some time enjoying the cactus as I find many photographic opportunities here as well.
The church’s interior is filled with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings. The docent led tours will give you history, stories, and depth to you knowledge of this facility. It is filled and overflowing with drama, melodrama, mystery, history, thievery, recovery, bandits, heroes and more.
This is a place where visitors can Continue reading

Old Mission San Juan Bautista

Mission San Juan Bautista - San Juan Bautista

Mission San Juan Bautista

Mission San Juan Bautista - Full Frontal

The Mission in Splendor

Old Mission San Juan Bautista is like a big time machine to an era long gone. The grounds are set off very well due to the adobe fence all around that keeps the cars out! now with that said the buildings that are around the mission are set to be of the same era of the mission. This too adds to the charm. Now the museum has been rebuilt   due to earthquakes. however it still maintains a wonderful feeling. The Museum is a look at the tools and the life that was in the past on the grounds and the model of the church in its hey day is eye opening.
My favorite was the gardens that are inside the compound and the many types of flowers and some of the cactus are so old! Wow I was so impressed. Well .. if you want to add another

Mission San Juan Bautista Gardens

The Gardens

mission tour to your been there done that list, then this one is a good call. The missions of California are a real set of
historical gems. Visit All the Missions – Collect the whole set!


NO. 195 MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA AND PLAZA

– Founded June 24,1790, Mission San Juan Bautista, partly destroyed by the earthquakes of 1800 and 1906, was repeatedly restored.

Mission San Juan Bautista Chapel

The Chapel

The two bells it now uses were salvaged from its original chime. The plaza on its south, surrounded by old adobes, has witnessed many historic scenes, including General Frémont’s activities in 1846.
Location: 2nd and Mariposa Sts, San Juan Bautista


Charley Carlin- StupidVacations.com

Charley Carlin

About The Author
Charley has many quests. One of those quests is to visit and explore all the California Missions and other missions throughout the southwest. Found all around the southwest in his Prius, he is a passionate seeker of those slightly odd and a bit different locales.  He can also be found on his family blog – charley.nethis social media guide – Charley Carlin – Social Media Guide  and via Reviews on YELPTrip Advisor, Google Maps, and Google+.

Mission San Antonio de Padua

Mission San Antonio - Jolon - CA

Mission San Antonio

Mission San Antonio de Padua is another old mission you might say. Well yes it is, but it is so much more. Our history is made of old things, old places and old stories. This place is full of stories and so full of history. The yarns that are spun and the truth that is told blend into a rich tapestry of early California with more characters that a grade school play.
Father Serra founded this mission. It is one of the nine that he founded, this one here in 1771.

There are 21 missions in total.

Mission San Antonio - Central Patio

Huge Central Patio

Although rather stark outside the mission grounds are very well kept and clean.
Protection from the invasion of the wild critters in the surrounding area makes the central patio oh so cozy, with healthy plant life and fruit during the right time of year.

The faithful always find something in the gift shop and historical material abounds as well! The museum is well kept and so interesting. An overnight stay at the church will enable first hand enjoyment of the incredibly clear skies and possibly howling coyotes! Praying in the chapel, which was built of 200 years ago, brings history into sharp focus. The drive give great view of these wide open spaces in addition to frequent wildlife sightings.

Mission San Antonio – Mission Days

Mission Days - Mission San Antonio

Authentic Costumes and Music

Mission Days at the San Antonio Mission is the biggest event of the year with authentic period music and dancing, historical story telling and choral music that is top quality. Finally get a program for this event from their website so you don’t miss any noteworthy events. Look for the event in early April every year. Come early and stay late!


NO. 232 MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA – Mission San Antonio de Padua, established on July 14, 1771, was the third in a series of missions founded in Alta California by Father Junípero Serra. Its picturesque setting in the valley of the San Antonio River within the Santa Lucia Range makes it one of today’s most outstanding examples of early mission life.
Location: Take Jolon Rd 26.5 mi from Hwy 101, to Hunter-Ligget Military Reservation, 23 mi W of King City. Plaque located at Hwy 101 & Jolon Rd on W. side


Charley Carlin- StupidVacations.com

Charley Carlin

About The Author
Charley has many quests. One of those quests is to visit and explore all the California Missions and other missions throughout the southwest. Found all around the southwest in his Prius, he is a passionate seeker of those slightly odd and a bit different locales.  He can also be found on his family blog – charley.nethis social media guide – Charley Carlin – Social Media Guide  and via Reviews on YELPTrip Advisor, Google Maps, and Google+.