Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day tripping… Mission San Antonio de Padua

Mission San Antonio de Padua  was founded as California’s third mission in 1771.   It is known as the mission that time forgot.  It  has been said that of all the California missions, San Antonio de Padua is the only one that would be recognizable today to its founder  Junipero Serra. Mission San Antonio de Padua rests on ground that has remained virtually unchanged for more than two centuries.


The mission and its environs remain unique due to its secluded location. It is considered the most remote and isolated in the chain. It is more than twenty miles from the nearest  town of any size. Of all the California Missions, it offers visitors perhaps the most accurate glimpse of what mission life once was.

Located on eighty  acres on what was once the Milpitas unit of the sprawling Hearst Ranch, Mission San Antonio de Padua sits within the “Valley of the Oaks” on California’s scenic Central Coast.

The rugged Santa Lucia mountains backdrop this historic mission, where ancient oak trees frame the fully restored adobe buildings which include the Church, museum, cloister,  garden and outbuildings.

After falling into disrepair following secularization in the nineteenth century, the mission has painstakingly been reconstructed to its former glory. 

latimes media photo

                                                                                             photo courtesy la times

Close-up  of the Altar Configuration


Notice the lovely polychrome paint detail on the interior pulpit and photos below




photo courtesy David Wing


photo courtesy David Wing

If you happen to be staying at Villa Cantina in the Spring when the wildflowers are in bloom you must make the trip to Mission San Antonio.

photo courtesy of windy hill publications

The annual Mission Days will be held on Saturday April 9, 2011 from 11 am to 3 pm. Enjoy a step back in time . There will be re-enactors in costume portraying soldiers, artisans, vaqueros on horseback, and neophytes (Indians). Demonstrations will include adobe brick making, acorn grinding, tortilla making, weaving, bead making, face painting, rope making,bell ringing, and more. In the historic church, the New Baroque Orchestra will play original music composed for Mission San Antonio.

photo courtesy of mission San Antonio de Padua

For more information please visit the Mission San Antonio de Padua website at:


The mission is also the setting for John Steinbeck’s second novel “To a God Unknown”

If you  like to immerse yourself in a little  local history before visiting ,you can  purchase “To a God Unknown” , ‘San Antonio Valley’, or ‘Mission San Antonio de Padua’ in my amazon store (at right) , or your favorite bookstore.

Mission San Antonio is approximately 35 minutes from Villa Cantina. Or if you are coming from the north: turn off on Jolon Road (G14), drive about 22 miles to the entrance to Fort Hunter Liggett. Turn Right. You are on Mission Road. Drive about 5 miles. The Mission is visible in front of you. Coming from the south: take the Jolon Road (G18) exit located right after the Bradley exit. Drive 26 miles to the Entrance of Fort Hunter Liggett. Turn Left. You are on Mission Road. Drive about 5 miles. The Mission is visible in front of you.

Open daily 10am-4pm (8:30am-6pm June to September). Closed Christmas day.