Visit the Catholic Missions of Central California

If you find yourself in Santa Cruz, you must adventure out on a pilgrimage through all of the closest missions! We are blessed that our Shrine of St. Joseph is so near to a handful of missions. Although the Shrine of St. Joseph isn’t a mission, we highly recommend that you make us one of your stops along your pilgrimage.

What are the Spanish Missions?

The Spanish missions in California (Spanish: Misiones españolas en California) comprise a series of 21 religious outposts or missions established between 1769 and 1833 in what is now the U.S. state of California. Founded by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order to evangelize the Native Americans, the missions led to the creation of the New Spain province of Alta California and were part of the expansion of the Spanish Empire into the most northern and western parts of Spanish North America.

The surviving mission buildings are the state’s oldest structures and its most-visited historic monuments. They have become a symbol of California, appearing in many movies and television shows, and are an inspiration for Mission Revival architecture. The oldest cities of California formed around or near Spanish missions, including the four largest: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco.

Nearby Spanish Missions

Of the 21 missions, we are highlighting the missions that are closest to our Shrine of St. Joseph in Santa Cruz, California.

Nuestra Señora de la Soledad Mission
36641 Fort Romie Road
Soledad, CA 93960

San Antonio de Padua Mission
17 Mission Road (Ft. Hunter-Liggett Reservation)
Jolon, CA 93928

San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission
3080 Rio Road
Carmel, CA 93923

San Francisco de Asís Mission
3321 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

San Francisco Solano Mission
114 East Spain Street
Sonoma, CA 95476

San José Mission
43300 Mission Boulevard
Fremont, CA 94539

San Juan Bautista Mission
406 Second Street
San Juan Bautista, CA 95045

San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Mission
751 Palm Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

San Miguel Arcángel Mission
775 Mission Street
San Miguel, CA 93451

San Rafael Arcángel Mission
1104 5th Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901

Santa Clara de Asís Mission
500 E. Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Santa Cruz Mission
126 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060