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A Tour of Early California Architecture from San Diego to Sonoma

The Spanish missions of California represent the state’s oldest and richest architectural legacy. Established in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century by Franciscan missionaries, the missions were designed by artisans from Mexico, and built and decorated largely by Native Americans. Learn More The California …

old mission san buenaventura basilica

Mission San Buenaventura

All that remains of the original mission is the church and its garden. A small museum sits at the mission with displays of Chumash Indian artifacts and mission-era items. Located in the historic downtown of Ventura, very few California missions had the center of business …

mission la purisima historic state park

La Purísima Mission State Historic Park is within the California State Parks System

Mission La Purísima was originally established at a site known to the Chumash people as Algsacpi and to the Spanish as the plain of Río Santa Rosa, one mile south of Lompoc. 

Drawing by Henry Chapman Ford

Turn of the Century Drawing of the Mission San Juan Bautista

In the summers of 1880 and 1881, while living in Santa Barbara, California, Henry C. Ford traveled by horse and buggy to each mission. In 1893, he exhibited his mission etchings at the Chicago World’s Fair. He died in 1894, leaving behind his California mission paintings.

Missions Trail Story Map

From Ventura to San Luis Obispo

Our interactive Story Map features five missions in the Central Coast area of California. The journey begins with Mission San Buenaventura and travels approximately 150 miles north to Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

old mission santa ines

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Mission San Juan Bautista

Title for Typical Post

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Mission San Rafael Arcángel

Title for Typical Post About One of the California Missions that Takes Two or Three Lines

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