You have got to go here…Mission San Juan Bautista!
Growing up in California the Mission system was a big part of my life. I learned about them as a part of our rich California history and visited the local Missions a lot. This summer while on a trip to Northern California I vowed to visit any Mission I past so that I could work towards my goal of visiting them all!
Out of the six I visited in a week, I stumbled on to one I really fell in love with – Mission San Juan Bautista!
Mission San Juan Bautista is located 47 miles south of San Jose, Calif. It is conveniently located right off the 101 freeway. There are navigational signs too, so it was easy to find!
As we drove to the Mission I was absolutely ready to find an amazing sight, but we actually discovered a super cute and historic town too – more on that later!
The Mission is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and there is a donation of $4.00 for entrance to the grounds and church…this small price is well worth it. The first thing I noticed when I entered the grounds is that they are smaller than some of the other missions that I visited, but I was surprised by how much more beautiful their relics were.
There are lots of things to see inside the small museum and outside in the gardens. Hidden gems everywhere so take your time to look and explore…then head over to the amazing church!
One thing I always like to do when I visit the church of a Mission is to sit in the pew and relish in all the beauty and history around me. They are always awe-inspiring to me and love seeing how each one of they are unique and magnificent in their own way.
Again, this is not one of the biggest Missions in the system inside, but the grounds outside are huge and there are lots to see – also a great place to bring a picnic lunch for your family. Some of my favorites where the statue of Father Serra, the view of part of the original El Camino Real, and the neighboring San Juan Bautista State Historic Park – which is also worth a visit ( I mean only if you like really cool historic buildings!)
OK so after you have explored all that head a few blocks down to the historic town of San Juan Bautista. Unfortunately I did not have that much time to explore the town (cute shops and packed restaurants/bars), so I will leave that up to you…but I will get you excited by leaving you with a few teaser pictures of what I did see!
Mission San Juan Bautista is exactly why I love to travel and explore. I went expecting just to see one thing and in the end discovered so much more!
On a side note, there is ample parking so no need to worry! Also, you could spend all day here so if you plan on doing so pack a lunch as there are ample parks and open spaces to enjoy the day…you many even meet some new friends!