The chain of 21 California Missions
passes through the Central Coast. Most of the missions are open to the
public; some are a little off the beaten track, while others are large
tourist attractions in the heart of a downtown area.
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is located in downtown San Luis
Obispo. Established in 1772 by Father Junipero Serra, this adobe
structure was the fifth and most successful mission built in the chain
of 21 California missions that run the length of the California Coast.
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is adjacent to San Luis Creek; the
location was selected for its large bear population and fertile
farmland. Tours of the mission are available and, like a lot of the
missions in the California Missions chain, Mission San Luis Obispo de
Tolosa is an operating Catholic church. Mission San Luis Obispo de
Tolosa is in San Luis Obispo on Highway 101. Mission Plaza is located at
Chorro and Monterey streets.
Travel north from San Luis Obispo on Highway 101 to San Miguel to visit
Mission San Miguel. The mission was named for St. Michael.
Founded in 1797, this was the 16th mission in the California mission’s
chain of 21 missions. This mission is considered to have the
best-preserved interior in the California Missions system. Many of the
original decorations, paintings, and frescoes still survive. There is a
museum at the mission, and Mission San Miguel is an operating church.
Rios-Caledonia Adobe is also located in San Miguel. Built in 1835
by American Indians from the mission, this building served as an inn and
stage stop from 1868 to 1890. Mission San Miguel and Rios-Caledonia
Adobe are north of Highway 101 in the town of San Miguel. The mission
can be found at 775 Mission street and the adobe at 700 Mission street.
These California missions will give you a taste of the missions in
California and may encourage you to visit more California Missions.
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