Mission San Juan Bautista
On our way home from Monterey
we decided that we weren't quite ready to actually go home, so we had a decision to make. Which route home and were there going to be any stops? Being Easter we felt that we needed to do something special and out of the ordinary so we decided to detour and go to the Mission at San Juan Bautista
taking Hwy 156, which put us probably 30-45 minutes out of our way and in the wrong direction- which had never put us off.
San Juan Bautista is a small town about a 15 minute drive off of the 101 on Hwy 156 (or in our case East on 156, a short detour North on the 101 back to East on the 156).
This time of year it's surrounded by gorgeous rolling green hills, but usually those hills are golden and sometimes oppressive in the extreme heat of summer. We were lucky because Easter Sunday in San Juan Bautista was temperate, sunny, and gorgeous. We arrived at the Mission San Juan Bautista just as Mass was to start but we decided to explore the grounds, so as to not disturb those there to worship. At one point we ended up at the open doors of the chapel where we watched part of the service which was exclusively in Spanish, not an unusual thing in California particularly at a Catholic service. It was absolutely beautiful to listen to the service even though I don't speak Spanish. My fiance, who does speak Spanish was able to translate for me after we had wandered away from the chapel.
Directly behind the chapel (or in front of depending on your perspective) stood an amazing bronze sculpture of John the Baptist- to whom Mission San Juan Bautista is dedicated. That statue blew me away. The pictures I have show it's beauty but don't do it justice. There is such emotion coming from that statue- it was hard to imagine that it was bronze and not a living man standing there pleading the heavens for mercy. On previous trips to San Juan Bautista we explored the gardens, which are located through the gift shop and out the back door- so we had never seen this part of the Mission before. There is a beautiful view of the surrounding Ag fields and gives you a sense of what it might have been like when the Mission was founded.
San Juan Bautista Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
great atmosphere and food!!
It's have been many years since I've been to Jardines but I have incredibly fond memories! So fond that my fiance and I are thinking about getting mar… read entire review
San Juan Bautista Sights & Attractions review
The Old Mission at San Juan Bautista is simply gorgeous. Of all of the missions that I have visited it's one of my favorites due to it's surroundings.… read entire review