El Camino Real

A mission bell marker along El Camino Real
This article is an itinerary.

El Camino Real (The Royal Road) is a historic road linking the 21 Spanish missions of California. Stretching over 600 miles (1000 km) from San Diego in the south to Sonoma in the north, the route traverses much of the state and has been a popular traveler itinerary for California motorists for nearly a century. A trip along El Camino Real offers a fascinating look into California's history and takes you past scenic coastline, picturesque countryside, and through the heart of the state's largest cities.


Junipero Serra founded the first nine California missions

Days of the Padres

El Camino Real and the missions, pueblos (villages), and presidios (forts) along it were established by the Franciscan friars to ensure safe passage through California during the late 18th and early 19th century, but also to convert the various Native American tribes to Catholicism and to solidify the Spanish claim to the region. The first nine missions were established by Junipero Serra, while the remaining twelve were established by Serra's successors. The first mission started in 1769 and the last was consecrated in 1823, only 25 years before California came under American control.

Many of the mission buildings were built of adobe (sun-dried bricks of mud, clay, water and straw). Though thick adobe mission walls provided relief from the warm California sun, they were susceptible to collapse during earthquakes. A typical mission layout consisted of a courtyard bordered by the church, workshops, and living quarters for friars and neophytes. Many of the missions had successful farming and ranching operations, and at one point one-sixth of California's land was mission-controlled. Though thousands of Native Americans were ostensibly converted to Catholicism, many others died of overwork or from diseases brought by the padres. Similar missions, and similar roads connecting them, were built in other regions of Spanish North America, including in Texas, New Mexico, and Baja California.

Statehood to the present

In the 19th century, many of the missions fell into neglect as California became a more secular society; under Mexican rule, the missions and the land around them were sold and the mission system came to an end, with some of the missions surviving as functioning Catholic churches to this day. Beginning in the early 20th century, following a renewed interest in California's Spanish heritage, the missions were restored or preserved as historical landmarks. Thanks to the efforts of the Auto Club of Southern California and local boosters, El Camino Real was one of the first paved highways in California and became established as a traveler itinerary. In the postwar era, freeways were built to bypass portions of the old road, though many portions of these early roads can still be driven or walked on to this day, and a number of unpaved relics of the original road exist parallel to the current highway, most notably at San Miguel and La Purisima.

Juan Bautista de Anza Trail

Between Missions San Gabriel and Dolores, El Camino Real is designated the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail to commemorate Juan Bautista de Anza's expeditions to California in the 1770s. De Anza visited the existing missions and established several presidos and pueblos. Several missions, including San Gabriel, La Purisima, San Luis Obispo, San Antonio, and Santa Clara are marked as destinations on the Anza Trail.


El Camino Real can be traveled at any time of year. In most cases, there is a town with gas and food at least every 15 miles or so, and lodgings every 20 or 30. There are a few exceptions to this, most notably Gaviota Pass and the area around Mission San Antonio, which is a good 30 miles from a city of significant size. The amount of driving on the El Camino Real will necessitate refueling at least every other day. Hotels in Southern California, Santa Barbara and the San Francisco Bay area may need reservations, but it is less likely they will be needed on the Central Coast.

Most of the route of El Camino Real is in Mediterranean climates, meaning the weather is generally mild, with highs around 60°F to 70°F (16°C to 21°C) in the winter and from 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C) in the summer. Lows are typically from 40°F to 60°F (4°C to 16°C) in winter, and 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C) in summer. Mornings in San Francisco, Monterey and Santa Barbara can be cold and foggy because they are on the coast. Rain in the summer is unlikely; rain in the winter could happen.

In order to have more time at the missions, it may be advantageous to eat your lunches from a cooler rather than stopping at a restaurant. It is generally a good idea to eat breakfast before visiting the first mission of the day, and dinner after visiting the last one.

This itinerary may require driving at night. Also, there may not be parking adjacent to every mission. Some missions are in neighborhoods where you must pay for parking, occasionally in the form of parking meters that take quarters.

Get in

By plane

There are a number of major airports along the route, most notably at San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. Flights are cheapest to Los Angeles; it is almost always cheaper to fly into Los Angeles and drive down to San Diego than it is to fly down to San Diego proper. There are smaller airports in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey, but there are fewer (but more expensive) flights to these places, and they are in the middle of the route rather than at the end. If flying into one of the San Francisco Bay airports, one would traverse the route north-to-south, or backwards from the way it is listed here. If flying is your conveyance, this itinerary assumes flying in the day before beginning, spending the night at one end of the route (i.e. in the Hotel Circle area of San Diego), and beginning the tour of the missions the next day. Likewise, either the evening of or the day after finishing the itinerary, you'd drive to catch your return flight.

By car

A historic landmark sign for Mission Santa Clara

The easiest way to visit the missions is by car. Indeed, the history of the El Camino Real as a tourist itinerary dates back to the early 20th century, when local boosters and auto clubs promoted the route as a driving itinerary. Between Los Angeles and San Jose, U.S. Route 101 (US-101) generally follows the route of the old road. North of San Jose and south of Los Angeles, other roads, such as Interstate 5 (I-5), Whittier Boulevard, and State Route 82, carry the designation. El Camino Real is marked by mission bells, which generally occur every mile or two. Freeway exits for missions or other historical landmarks are marked with special signage, which is generally brown letters on a tan background adorned with a silhouette of a grizzly bear.

It's possible to visit several missions in one day, though to visit all 21 will take several days, and several hundred miles of driving. San Diego can be reached by car by driving west on Interstate 8, or south on Interstates 5 or 15. San Francisco and Sonoma can be reached by driving west on Interstates 80 or 580.

By train

Portions of the route can also easily be done by train, particularly in Southern California. Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner serves many cities and towns between San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo, with multiple daily departures. Missions San Juan Capistrano, San Buenaventura (Ventura), and San Luis Obispo are within walking distance of Pacific Surfliner stations, while Missions San Diego, San Luis Rey (Oceanside), San Gabriel, and Santa Barbara are easily accessible by local public transit from a Pacific Surfliner station. Additionally, two commuter rail lines, the COASTER and the Metrolink Orange County Line, overlap with the Pacific Surfliner on the San Diego-Oceanside and Oceanside-Los Angeles segments of the route, respectively, making it even easier to hop-off/hop-on a train. With careful planning, it's possible to visit a few missions in a single day by taking the train. On the way you can take in some great coastal scenery and easily visit some other sites of Spanish historical interest, such as San Diego's Old Town or Los Angeles' El Pueblo district, adjacent to L.A.'s Union Station.

In Northern California, Missions Santa Clara, San Jose (Fremont), and Dolores (San Francisco) are all accessible via local public transit from nearby Amtrak stations in the Bay Area, namely stations in San Jose, Santa Clara, Fremont, and Oakland. The most easily reached are Mission Santa Clara (within walking distance of the Santa Clara train station, served by ACE, Caltrain, and Amtrak's Capitol Corridor) and Mission Dolores (a short walk from a BART subway stop). Missions Santa Cruz and San Rafael are also reachable by regional bus service, although they're further afield and require a lengthy bus ride from San Jose (to Santa Cruz) or San Francisco (to San Rafael).


El Camino Real bells

Bells were a very important part of mission life: they signaled the passage of time and alerted the natives for mass or special occasions. During the Mission Revival movement, when California boosters used Spanish mission iconography to promote California, the mission bell was selected as the marker for the El Camino Real. The first set of bells was installed in 1906 and subsequent bells were installed in the 1910s and 1920s, prior to a standard signage being adopted for state highways. Originally, the bells also served as signposts, announcing the mileage and direction to the nearest mission. An effort to again install El Camino Real bells began in 1996, and new or replacement El Camino Real bells are being installed to this day.

Visiting all 21 missions will take a minimum of seven days, visiting three missions a day. Spending between 1 and 2 hours at each mission will necessitate being at the first mission when it opens and at the third when it closes, allowing time to drive between one mission and the next. If you want to visit the missions at a more leisurely pace, or visit attractions other than the missions (such as the Pueblo de Los Angeles, the Presidio of San Francisco, or wineries in San Luis Obispo County), additional days may prove desirable. Note that an itinerary must take into account that Missions Santa Cruz and San Rafael are not open daily, and that the locations of Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista allow their places in the itinerary to be switched. There are often multiple ways to get from one mission to the next. Often, a freeway or expressway is the current designation of El Camino Real, but the originally-designated surface streets through town may still exist. In various areas, one is often left with the choice between historic integrity of the route on the one hand, and convenience on the other.

Day 1: San Diego, San Luis Rey and San Juan Capistrano

Begin the day at Mission San Diego Alcala in San Diego. To reach the mission from the hotels in Mission Valley, take Hotel Circle to Fashion Valley Road, then turn north on Fashion Valley. Take Fashion Valley until it ends at Friars Road, then turn right on Friars Road. At Qualcomm Stadium, take the exit for Mission Village Drive. Turn right onto Mission Village, then, 1/2 block later, turn left at San Diego Mission Road. The Mission will be a little less than a mile away on your left.

Mission San Diego

Leaving Mission San Diego, continue east on San Diego Mission Road, then turn right on Fairmount Avenue. After a third of a mile, turn right again when Fairmount merges with Mission Gorge Road. Turn right at the entrance to Interstate 8 West. Take I-8 to I-5, the freeway that bears the El Camino Real designation. Once on Interstate 5, you may remain on it until Oceanside, or you may exit it to take advantage of the Old Hwy 101 coast route. To view this, exit 29 from I-5 and turn left on Genesee Avenue (County Road S21) in La Jola. Genesee becomes North Torrey Pines Road through the Torrey Pines, Camino del Mar in Del Mar, Hwy 101 in Solana Beach and Encinitas, and Carlsbad Blvd in Carlsbad (no turns are required despite the name changes). The Old Hwy 101 route is one of the main commercial thoroughfares in each of the towns it passes through, meaning there are shopping and eating opportunities along the route. There is also a street that bears the name "El Camino Real" between Carmel Valley and Oceanside.

When entering Oceanside by either the Coast Route, Interstate 5, or El Camino Real, the directions to Mission San Luis Rey are the same regardless: turn right on Mission Avenue (exit 53 from I-5, EAST). To reach the Mission, turn left on Rancho del Oro Road.

Mission San Luis Rey

To continue your route, go south on Rancho del Oro to the San Luis Rey Expressway (California Route 76), turn right and take it to Interstate 5 North. If you are seeking lunch, there are numerous options in Oceanside. If not, continue on Interstate 5 through Camp Pendleton and San Clemente, exiting at Ortega Hwy/CA-74 (exit 82). Mission San Juan Capistrano is located a few blocks west, where Ortega dead-ends into Camino Capistrano. The surrounding blocks have a few shopping and dining options.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Juan Capistrano is separated from Mission San Gabriel by miles and miles of Los Angeles and Orange County suburbs, so it is best to avoid the morning traffic and make significant headway toward San Gabriel in the afternoon, when there is less northbound traffic. Continue north on Camino Capistrano to Junipero Serra Road. Turn right on Junipero Serra, then left a few blocks later to get on I-5 North. Continue on I-5 through Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Irvine, Santa Ana and Orange. This part of Orange County, particularly the Block at Orange, has malls with many eateries close to the freeway, though the hotels in this area may be more expensive due to their proximity to Disneyland.

At Harbor Boulevard (exit 110 in Anaheim), the marked El Camino Real diverges from the Interstate. You may continue to follow the Interstate, or you may exit and go north on Harbor Boulevard. To follow the old route, stay on Harbor Boulevard for 8–9 miles through Fullerton before turning left onto Whittier Boulevard in La Habra. If you continue on the Interstate, your best option would be to bed down in Norwalk, but if you take the Harbor and Whittier Boulevards route (Old Hwy 101), a better option for you would be the town of Whittier.

Day 2: San Gabriel, San Fernando and San Buenaventura

From Norwalk, if you are again opting for the freeway route rather than the traditional route, go North on Interstate 5. Take that to Interstate 605 North, then take I-605 to Interstate 10 West. Exit at New Avenue (exit 24), choosing the option towards San Gabriel. Turn left off the exit, then right onto New Avenue. At the wye where New and Ramona Avenues split, choose Ramona Avenue, and continue north on Ramona until it dead-ends at the Mission. This route skirts the cities of Whittier, El Monte, and Monterey Park before entering San Gabriel.

From Whittier, go west on Whittier Boulevard to Rosemead Boulevard (California State Route 19) in Pico Rivera and turn right. Then turn left onto San Gabriel Blvd, passing by the Bosque del Rio Hondo (the original site of the San Gabriel Mission). At Paramount Boulevard, turn right to stay on San Gabriel Blvd. Follow San Gabriel Boulevard through Rosemead. Turn left on Mission Road in San Gabriel and follow this to the mission, which is dead ahead.

Mission San Gabriel Arcangel

If you want to go to the Pueblo Los Angeles, go west on Junipero Serra, which becomes Mission Road in Alhambra, then Alhambra Avenue in East Los Angeles. When Mission dead-ends at Valley Blvd, turn right onto Valley, which becomes Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Take Main Street to where it dead-ends at Alameda, then turn south on Alameda. The Pueblo is located between Cesar Chavez and the US-101 freeway. From the pueblo, board US-101 at Los Angeles or Hill Streets. From there, then take US-101 through Hollywood to the San Fernando Valley. From there, take the 101 to California Route 170 North, and that in turn to Interstate 5 North.

However, if not, it may be best to avoid downtown Los Angeles altogether. To do this, go west on Junipero Serra Drive (it becomes another Mission Road), then turn right on Garfield Avenue. After a little less than a mile, turn right on Atlantic Blvd, which becomes Los Robles Avenue in the upscale town of San Marino. Continue on Los Robles through the traffic circle with Glenarm Street. Turn left on Del Mar Blvd, then right onto an on-ramp for the 134 West in conjunction with Pasadena Avenue. Take the 134 West to Interstate 5 North. This route takes you through Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank, three towns with many lunch options.

From either route, once you are on I-5, exit at San Fernando Mission Blvd (exit 157B). Stay in the left lane for S.F. Mission Blvd west, which loops you around to go the right direction on San Fernando Mission Blvd. The mission is a few blocks west on the right-hand side.

Mission San Fernando

Leaving Mission San Fernando, one has two options, either to follow El Camino Real as designated or El Camino Real is convenient (and probably as historical)

The I-405/US-101 route takes you through the South San Fernando Valley, Calabasas and Agoura Hills, while the other route takes you through the upscale new exurb of Simi Valley. Note that it is best to avoid US-101 between the Valley and Thousand Oaks during the afternoon rush hour. The portion of US-101 on both routes goes through Camarillo and Oxnard before reaching Ventura, and there are a large number of chain shopping and eating opportunities in either. Exit 101 at California Street in downtown Ventura, then turn left at Main Street. Mission San Buenaventura is at Main and Figueroa.

Mission San Buenaventura

When done with Ventura, you may elect to spend the night there, or you may travel several miles further north on US-101 to Carpinteria or Santa Barbara (continuing west on Main Street will eventually put you on US-101). As Santa Barbara is a resort community, its hotels are usually more expensive than those in Ventura, but this is compensated for by having a more lively shopping and eating scene along State Street. Exits 96B through 99 on US-101 all serve Santa Barbara.

Day 3: Santa Barbara, Santa Ines and La Purisima

If you spent the night in Ventura or Carpinteria, take U.S. north and exit at Mission Street (exit 99B). Turn right on Mission, and continue on Mission until it dead-ends into Laguna Street. Turn left on Laguna and take that until it dead-ends at the mission.

If you are already in Santa Barbara, take State Street north/west to Los Olivos and turn right. The mission is at the corner of Los Olivos and Laguna.

Mission Santa Barbara

From Mission Santa Barbara, go south/east on Laguna to Mission and turn right. Take Mission to US-101 North, and get on US-101 through Goleta and Gaviota Pass all the way to State Route 246 in Buellton (an alternate route to US-101 on the coast is State Route 154 over San Marcos Pass; this route is shorter but narrower and with sharper turns that necessitate driving at lower speeds). Exit 140A, turn right on State Route 246, and take it through Solvang to Mission Santa Ines, located at corner of CA-246 and Alisal Road. There are a number of restaurants in Solvang, but, as it is one of the few Danish enclaves in Southern California, they can hardly be considered authentic Spanish or Mexican cuisine.

Mission Santa Ines

To get to La Purisima from Mission Santa Ines, go west on State Route 246, back through Buellton and toward Lompoc. At the traffic circle, turn onto Purisima Road. The state park is a couple miles further on Purisima Road.

Mission La Purisima

Travelers should plan on staying the night in either Santa Maria or Pismo Beach, both of which are north of Purisima. Continue west on Purisima to its junction with California State Route 1, then go North on CA-1 through Vandenburg Air Force Base (a right turn to stay on Route 1 is necessary at one point) to its junction with California State Route 135. Continue on Routes 1/135 North, then when Route 1 splits from Route 135, take CA-135 North into Santa Maria. Route 135 is Santa Maria's main drag, and many hotels are located on or near it, or near US-101. To continue into Pismo, stay on Route 135 (Broadway) to its junction with US-101 at the north end of town, then get on US-101 North. Exits 190-195 are for Pismo Beach. The area around Santa Maria (and the Five Cities area) is known for Santa Maria Style pit barbecue, which emulates the style of cooking beef in the early days of California, though there are many other restaurants in the two cities if you desire something else. It is worth noting that, while Santa Maria lacks the charm of Pismo Beach, it has cheaper accommodations.

Day 4: San Luis Obispo, San Miguel and San Antonio

To get to San Luis Obispo, travel north on US-101, exiting at Marsh Street (Exit 202A) for Downtown San Luis Obispo. Marsh and its couplet pair Higuera Street are the main drags through Downtown San Luis Obispo, and several breakfast establishments are located there. To reach the mission, turn left at Broad, then right onto Monterey.

Mission San Luis Obispo
Mission San Miguel

To proceed north, go north on Broad until it ends at US-101 North, then take US-101 North through Atascadero and Paso Robles before getting off the freeway at Mission Street (exit 239A) in San Miguel. The bell wall is right off the freeway, and the mission proper is about a quarter-mile further on your left.

Traveling to Mission San Antonio from Mission San Miguel takes you a ways off Highway 101 and through 26 miles of back roads in the sparsely populated San Antonio Valley. Since there is only one gas station between here and King City, make sure you have enough fuel before leaving San Miguel. From Mission San Miguel, continue north on Mission Street, boarding US-101 at its end near Camp Roberts. Follow the signs for Mission San Antonio that occur every so often: the California Landmark sign will instruct you to exit at Jolon Road (exit 252). Follow Jolon Road (also signed as County Roads G18 and G14) through the valley before turning left on Mission Road after about 21 miles (this is marked by signage pointing left for Fort Hunter Liggett and the mission). Stay on Mission Road through the Fort Hunter Liggett gate and at the wye with Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.

Mission San Antonio de Padua

To return to US-101, go back the way you came on Mission Road until you return to Jolon Road, then turn left (toward King City and US-101 North). Stay on this for 18 miles, then turn on to US-101 South to enter the farming community of King City, where you will be spending the night. The hotels are at the next two exits. There are chain restaurants adjacent to the hotels, and Mexican cuisine near the center of town.

Day 5: Soledad, San Carlos and Santa Cruz

From King City, continue north on US-101 through Greenfield toward the town of Soledad. Exit the freeway at Arroyo Seco Road (exit 301), then go 1 mile on Arroyo Seco before turning right on Fort Romie Road (County Road G17). The mission is a mile and a half down Fort Romie on your left.

Mission Soledad

To get to Mission San Carlos, it is possible to get there via the roads along the Salinas River, but a better route is to go back the way you came: go on Fort Romie to the stop sign at Arroyo Seco, turn left, and board US-101 North at the end of Arroyo Seco. Stay on US-101 through Soledad and Gonzales before taking the exit marked Monterey Peninsula (Exit 326C). This will dump you off onto Sanborn and Blanco Roads, which bypass the center of Salinas but are well situated in terms of gas stations and truck stops. Turn left on S. Main Street (California Route 68). Take CA-68 into Monterey, and at the junction with Route 1, opt for CA-1 South/CA-68 West toward Carmel. Continue south on Route 1 past the junction with Route 68 west, eventually turning right at Ocean Avenue in the artist community of Carmel. In central Carmel, turn left on Junipero Street. The mission will be three-quarters of a mile south on your right.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

To continue your journey, go west on Rio Road from the mission to its junction with California Route 1. Turn left, and continue up Route 1 through Monterey Bay, passing the towns of Monterey, Seaside, Marina, Castroville, Watsonville, Aptos and Capitola. After the freeway ends in Santa Cruz, continue on Route 1 before turning left at Mission Street. Turn left at Emmett Street, then right at High to visit Mission Santa Cruz.

The interior of Mission Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz has a number of dining, lodging, and amusement options, but you may also want to consider backtracking down Route 1 to Aptos (exits 432-435) or Watsonville (exits 425-427) to bed down for the night.

Day 6: San Juan Bautista, Santa Clara and San Jose

Continue south on California Route 1, exiting at Route 129 for Watsonville (exit 425). Turn left on CA-129 to go through Watsonville. (If you slept in central Watsonville, take Main Street south to Riverside Drive/CA-129 and turn left). Continue on this road past the junction with US-101. Soon after the junction, the road veers right and becomes the San Juan Highway into San Juan Bautista, where it becomes 1st Street. Turn right onto Monterey Street, then left one block later at 2nd Street. The mission is located on San Juan and Mariposa opposite San Juan Bautista State Historic Park.

Mission San Juan Bautista

To continue to Mission Santa Clara, backtrack on 2nd Street to San Jose Street, turn right, then turn left at 1st Street a block later. Take 1st Street, which becomes San Juan Highway. At the junction with US-101, turn right to get on US-101 north toward San Jose (An alternative route to US-101 is Monterey Road, the former 101 alignment through Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Jose, now designated US-101 Business or California State Route 82). Exit US-101 at Alum Rock Avenue/Santa Clara Street/CA-130 (Exit 386A) and turn left on to Santa Clara Street through Downtown San Jose. Santa Clara Street becomes The Alameda, which was built for Native Americans to walk between St. Joseph’s Basilica and Mission Santa Clara. In Santa Clara, a left turn is required to stay on The Alameda. The Alameda dead-ends into Santa Clara University, where Mission Santa Clara is located on Alviso Street between Franklin and Stanta Clara.

Mission Santa Clara

To get to Mission San Jose, backtrack on the Alameda, turning right to stay on the Alameda, before merging right on the loop on-ramp to Interstate 880, Continue on I-880 through Milpitas before exiting at Mission Blvd (Exit 12A, signed as "to I-680"). Continue north on Mission Blvd past the junction with to the Mission San Jose neighborhood of Fremont, where Mission San Jose is located at Mission and Washington.

Mission San Jose

There are many hotels in both the East Bay and West Bay, including in Fremont and San Jose. If you are desirous of sleeping somewhere along El Camino Real between San Jose and San Francisco (which is recommended for the integrity of the historic route), go south on Mission Blvd back to I-880 South towards San Jose. Then, take I-880 to California Route 237 West. From there, take CA-237 either to US-101 North (the freeway) or California Route 82 (El Camino Real). Turn right on El Camino Real, and take either that or US-101 through Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City and San Mateo. Each of these places has suitable accommodations for a night's stay, and El Camino Real is one of the main commercial drags in these towns.

Day 7: Dolores, San Rafael and San Francisco Solano

Though San Mateo and San Francisco are fairly close geographically, allow extra time (at least an hour in total) to get to Mission Dolores because this is one of the few times on the journey you will be traveling the same direction as rush hour traffic. Continue north on El Camino Real (CA-82) through San Mateo, Millbrae and Daly City.

The interior of Mission Dolores in San Francisco

Route 82 changes its name to Mission Street in Daly City, but to stay on Mission, you have to merge right shortly after John Daly Boulevard near the border of Daly City and San Francisco proper. Mission Street has carried El Camino Real through this part of San Francisco since the days of the padres. Continue on Mission Street to Cesar Chavez Avenue and turn left. In a few blocks, turn right on Dolores Street. The mission is at Dolores Street between 16th and Chula Lane. (To get to the Mission via US-101, Exit at Vermont Street, turn left off the exit onto Vermont, then turn left on to 16th and take it to 16th and Dolores)

For the next mission, go east on 16th Street, then turn left at Van Ness Avenue. Turn left at Lombard Street to follow US-101. A couple miles later, US-101 veers right onto Richardson Avenue as it enters the Presidio, which was originally fortified by the Spanish in 1776 and remained fortified by the Spanish, Mexicans or Americans until 1994. Follow US-101 over the Golden Gate Bridge and through Sausalito, Mill Valley and Corte Madera before taking Exit 452B for Central San Rafael. Go through 2nd Street before turning left on 3rd. Then turn right on A Street. The mission is at the end of A Street.

Mission San Rafael

To get the final mission, go east on 5th Avenue. Turn right at Irwin Street, then merge onto the on-ramp for US-101 a block later. Take US-101 to California Route 37 (exit 460A) in Novato. Take Route 37 to Route 121. After curving right to stay on Route 121 at the junction with Route 116, turn left at the junction with Route 12. Follow Route 12 into Sonoma, where it goes by Broadway. When Broadway dead-ends into Napa Street, turn right, then turn left on 1st Street East a block later. Mission San Francisco Solano is at the corner of 1st and Spain.

Mission San Francisco Solano

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