Posted: Thursday, Aug 11th, 2016

By Visit Ventura

California’s Historic Mission Trail

by Visit Ventura

El Camino Real connecting each of California’s 21 missions along 600 miles between San Diego and Sonoma, makes up one of the most well-preserved culturally and historically significant trails on the West Coast. The missions were built between 1769 and 1823 and remain active churches today. They are open to visitors who can explore a part of California’s modern history, admire beautiful architecture, and plan a scenic road-trip along El Camino Real and California’s iconic Highway 1.

Check out the missions from San Diego to Sonoma:

1. Mission San Diego de Alcalá

This was the very first mission in Alta California, founded in San Diego in 1769

Prayitno Mission San Diego de Alcala Visit Ventura Mission Trail

Image by Prayitno

2. Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

Founded in Carmel in 1770 the second of the California Missions to be established. The location where Father Junipero Serra died in 1984.

San carlos borromeo de carmelo mission rictor norton and david allen visit ventura mission trail

Image by Rictor Norton & David Allen

3. Mission San Antonio de Padua

Founded in Jolon in 1771.

Ed Bierman Mission San Antonio de Padua visit ventura mission trail

Image by Ed Bierman

4. Mission San Gabriel Arcangel

Founded in San Gabriel in 1771.

Michael de la Paz Mission San Gabriel Visit Ventura Mission Trail

Image by Michael de la Paz

5. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Founded in San Luis Obispo in 1772.

Kristin McLatchie Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Visit Ventura Mission Trail

Image by Kristin McLatchie

6. Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores)

Founded in San Francisco in 1776

 

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7. Mission San Juan Capistrano

Founded in San Juan Capistrano in 1776

Jeffrey Tucker Mission San Juan Capistrano Visit Ventura Mission Trail

Image by Jeffrey Tucker

8. Mission Santa Clara de Asís

Founded in Santa Clara in 1777.
Mission Santa Clara de Asis

9. Mission San Buenaventura

Founded in Ventura in 1782
san buenaventura ventura mission mural mosaic

10. Mission Santa Barbara

Founded in Santa Barbara in 1786

Hatold Litwiler Santa Barbara Mission Trail

Image by Harold Litwiler

11. Mission La Purísima Concepción

Founded in Lompoc in 1787

 

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12. Mission La Exaltación de la Santa Cruz

Founded in Santa Cruz in 1791

mission santa cruz ed bierman visit ventura mission trail

Image by Ed Bierman

13. Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

Founded in Soledad in 1791

Mission Nuestra Senora de la soledad Kristina DC Hoeppner visit ventura mission trail

Image byKristina DC Hoeppner

14. Mission San José

Founded in Fremont 1797

Mission san Jose fremont california visit ventura mission trail

Image by Robert Freiberger

15. Mission San Juan Bautista

Founded in San Juan Bautista in 1797

Mission San Juan Bautista anna fox mission trail visit ventura

Image by Anna Fox

16. Mission San Miguel Arcángel

Founded in San Miguel in 1797

Mission san Miguel Prayitno visit ventura mission trail

Image by Prayitno

17. Mission San Fernando Rey de España

Founded in Mission Hills in 1797

 

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18. Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

Founded in San Luis Rey in 1798

Ken Lund Mission San luis Rey de Francia Mission Trail Ventura

Image by Ken Lund

19. Mission Santa Ines

Founded in Solvang in 1804

Kristina DC Hoeppner Mission Santa Ines Visit Ventura Mission Trail

Image by Kristina DC Hoeppner

20. Mission San Rafael Arcángel

Founded in San Rafael in 1817

 

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21. Mission San Francisco Solano

This was the last mission built, and the only one founded under Mexican rule. Founded in Sonoma in 1823

mission san francisco solano visit ventura california mission trail

Image by Bryce Edwards

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