"Hearst's Hacienda and Mission San Antonio de Padua" Jolon by atufft

Jolon Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 94 photos

Mission San Antonio de Padua

Of any of the California missions, this mission retains much of the original setting. Most missions are surrounded by urban din, while the remote location of Mission San Antonio remains much as it was nearly 300 years ago. The road leading to the virtually absent town of Jolon runs mostly along the old El Camino Real, now a well aged ribbon highway several miles west of modern freeway 101. There are several other ruins in the area as well that date back to gold mining days when this was the route from the south to the northern gold fields. Originally, this route was used by Juan Bautista De Anza in the first colonizing efforts within northern California. De Anza's mission was to find a suitable supply route by land between Culiacan, Sonora, Mexico and the missions of California, which often waited years for supply by sea. Mission San Antonio de Padua was the third mission founded, after the missions at San Diego and Carmel, and remained an important stop between southern and northern California for many years.

Heart's Hacienda

Hearst's Castle, at San Simeon on the coast, and the Hacienda are intimately related. Hearst and friends frequently went on horseback, camping along the way, between the ranch at San Simeon and the Hacienda. Hearst money was important to restoration of the Mission, which was completely abandoned for almost 50 years, between 1882 and 1928. Julia Morgan's mission revival architectural design of the Hacienda is really quite magnificient and well worth visiting in it's own right.

Notes for visiting the mission and hacienda...

Hearst deeded over the rancho lands to the Army during World War II, and there remains today a military base there, Fort Hunter Liggett Military Reservation. In order to visit either mission or the hacienda, visitors must present a photo ID, such as a driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of vehicle insurance. Don't come without these, or you can't get in. Nevertheless, the base is not a highly sensitive one, focusing mostly upon the testing of army land vehicles, and the security at the gate is both professional and friendly. At the time of our visit, the restaurnat at the Hacienda, now a hotel, was close "until further notice", and there were no places to eat at the mission. I recommend packing a picnic lunch for under the trees at the mission. On second weekend in June, there is an annual festival that includes a huge barbeque, music, dancing, and other festivities, which is open to the public. See my tips for more information...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The mission and hacienda provide a glimpse into early California
  • Cons:Jolon itself doesn't really exist, and so directions can be difficult
  • In a nutshell:This is a great off-the-beaten-path tour for those interested in California history.
  • Last visit to Jolon: Apr 2007
  • Intro Written Apr 14, 2007
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Reviews (9)

Comments (5)

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    Alan - we finally got to visit Mission San Antonio and the surrounding area... a trip I have been planning for a year or more. Your tips were a big help! Joe

  • Gwynethart's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    Hey there! You have some fabulous photos and tips on this place! Thanks for the visit - I'm honored. :-))

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2007 at 2:10 AM

    The Californian missions are a must see - I've seen them all over anumber of years - one day I plan to follow the trail in one hit. Nice page and details here Alan. leyle

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2007 at 5:26 PM

    Beautiful new pages, Alan. Glad to see you are sightseeing in your own state.

  • Vulindlela's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2007 at 5:25 PM

    That Mission is one of the prettier ones in my opinion.


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