Tag Archives: Paso Robles

Camp Roberts Military Museum

The Camp Roberts Military Museum is the largest military museum in California – or so they told me – this is a great museum for military historians and also for everyone to get a picture and feeling of many historical events that are not covered in a movie based history about the battle of so and so. This base has been training hundreds of thousands of men for many decades. 

The museum has a very limited schedule as to when you can enter. So check carefully, and have ID, Registration and insurance ready. Remember the only days are Thursday and Saturday 9 to 4 Only.

Once through the gate you are greeted by the museum annex. It has a display of choppers and tanks in many configurations.  Inside the Annex there are displays from many different battle fields and displays of what conditions were like in the past. It can get quite warm on the base in the summer, however it  gets a great deal warmer inside a tank or in the fields of the deserts where many of the men portrayed were deployed. The base has trained many movie and stage stars, and created a legacy that is worthy of investigation. The barracks of Red Skelton are displayed and the story of his service is one that was almost all done at Camp Roberts.

Camp Roberts Military Museum – Main Building

Proceeding up the road to the main museum, upon entering one is greeted by most welcome air conditioning. It may be a swamp cooler, but whatever it is it was most welcome! There is a 35 minute movie of the history of the camp and I always find these documentaries to reveal so many stories about goings on in the past. The museums entry way will tell the story of the naming of the base. This one was not named for a general! The docents are very helpful and will talk your ears off with stories given the slightest openings. So be ready to be guided through a big piece of California History. This seemingly desolate site hold many secrets. How many can you find?

Rios Caledonia Adobe – Templeton CA

The Rios Caledonia Adobe was built in 1846. It was a stage stop and a hotel on the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Rios Caledonia Adobe - San Miguel

1968 – Before Restoration

Over time things changed, the trains came and finally of course the roads. In 1968 the building was almost totally dissolved by weather.

Today, due to some hard work and steady efforts by the Friends of The Adobes. Rios Caledonia is well maintained and now a restored piece of history for San Luis Obispo County.

Rios Caledonia Adobe - San Miguel - Calofirnia

Caledonia Days Every September

Over the decades the the Rios Caledonia Adobe has been a residence for various families, a stagecoach stop, a tavern, a hotel, a mattress factory, and a tailor shop. 

After sliding into grave disrepair in the 1960’s the building was purchased by the County of San Luis Obispo.  The Friends of the Adobe  was formed to protect, repair and restore Rios Caledonia. Major restoration was completed in 1972 and the Adobe was opened to the public for tours in 1978.  A gift shop is also in the Adobe. Continue reading

San Ardo Swallows

The San Ardo Swallows can be found when driving the US 101 either north of Paso Robles or south of King City. Find the off ramp for San Ardo, take the ramp and park under the bridge. Now get out of the car and be patient for a couple of minutes.

San Ardo Swallows - US 101 California

Cliff Swallows Under the Bridge

Some people don’t know how long that is so, use a watch if you are uncertain. The reason I say wait, is that as you drive up, the San Ardo Swallows will all flee, and it takes a bit of time for them to get the courage to continue their day to day tasks with an invader (you) in the area. Anyway, if one patiently waits soon a few birds will appear, then more, and then even more. These are cliff swallows. You can see their nests on the bridges with the heaviest concentrations on the east side (closest to the river) At my house we always called them mud swallows, as they make their nests from mud. Well, cliff swallows is the real name so I guess we will stick with that for the San Ardo Swallows. Next, these birds are migratory. 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

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+.