I love visiting the California Missions. There are 21 in all that were built along the El Camino Real, ranging from Southern California to Northern California. I was married at the Santa Clara Mission, and I’ve probably seen about two-thirds of the remaining ones.
One of my favorite missions is the Carmel Mission ~ Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo, located right by the Pacific Ocean in Carmel, CA.
This mission was established in 1770, which in California, is about the oldest architecture we can claim. I love the Spanish style influence in the design of the missions.
With as old as these structures are, it’s amazing to think that regular services are still conducted here each week. One of the most special treats is to attend a holiday mass here. The gardens are beautiful and it is always a pleasure to peacefully stroll around the grounds and soak up the beauty of it all.
Over the years I have accumulated a collection of wooden carved Santo’s, of which my first one was purchased here and many others have been purchased at the other missions I have visited. I hope to visit all 21 missions at some point.
If you are in the Carmel area, I encourage you to visit this beautiful location. Afterwards, walk next door to Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch Inn & Restaurant and grab yourself some lunch or dinner, or even stay the night in one of the cottages….and it wouldn’t be unusual for Clint to make your day by making an appearance.