El Camino Real II - Missions of Southern California
El Camino Real II - Missions of Southern California
El Camino Real II
Missions of California – South
6 days – 5 nights
Los Angeles, Oxnard, San Luis Obispo, Prismo Beach, Lompoc, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Buenaventura, Mission Hills, San Gabriel, Anaheim, San Diego
This program may be operated for individuals or for groups
This is a suggested and customizable itinerary
Day 1: Hometown, Los Angeles, Oxnard (60 miles)
Pick-up your car at Los Angeles Airport and follow the Pacific Coast Highway, just outside of the airport for your 60-mile drive to Oxnard.
Day 2: Oxnard, San Luis Obispo, Prismo Beach (145 miles)
Take Route 101 north for a 2-hour drive towards your day’s target, the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa mission. The mission’s walls, which are 50 to 60 feet high, were built according to Vatican law. This law stated that churches were to be built as tall as the local tree – in this case, the pine. The church, with a long secondary nave forms an L-shaped church, the only one of its kind amongst the California missions. After the visit, a short drive to Prismo Beach and check-in at your hotel for overnight. [B]
Day 3: Prismo Beach, Santa Barbara (120 miles)
Less than 1-hour drive to Lompoc to the mission La Purísima Concepción, the only California mission not organized around a quadrangle. The mission was built in a linear fashion, a layout chosen by the leaders to avoid flooding patterns and because the mission leaders felt the docile Chumash did not need to be contained within the typical fortress like quadrangle. Then continue to Solvang and mission Santa Inés also designated “Mission of the Passes”, because visitors following El Camino Real had to battle the San Marcos Pass and take the Refugio Pass or the Gaviota Pass to arrive at the mission. This isolation discouraged visitors to Santa Inés, and consequently the mission’s social life was limited. We suggest you stop for lunch and enjoy a little pause before continuing to Santa Bárbara mission with striking views of the Pacific. The mission truly compliments the adjoining beachfront community. Its location, centrally between the missions of the north and south, and accessibility by sea, set the stage for Santa Barbara to play a key role in the ultimate development of California, and later would become headquarters of all the missions. The beautiful city of Santa Barbara will provide a great atmosphere for relaxation and ample choice of restaurants for dinner. Overnight at your hotel. [B]
Day 4: Santa Barbara, Anaheim (148 miles)
The three missions schedule for today represent some of the top one in California. The first, Mission San Buenaventura is just 30 minutes away. Unique to this mission are the wooden bells, used during Holy Week, between Palm Sunday and Easter, while the metal bells were silent. While they are certainly originals, their origins are a mystery. 60 miles east is Mission San Fernando Rey located in Mission Hills. The walls of this simple mission church are painted with Indian designs. Above the altar is a hand carved wood statue of the mission patron saint, Ferdinand III, sent by the Spanish King. The mission church served as one side of the quadrangle while the other three sides served as living quarters and other rooms. The large patio with the surrounding walls afforded protection against possible Indian attacks. In the middle of the quadrangle is an original fountain modeled after one in Cordova, Spain. You probably want to take a brake and enjoy lunch before your 60-mile drive to San Gabriel to visit Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. Architecturally, San Gabriel is distinct among the California missions, probably because Father Antonio Cruzado, the designer, was born in Cordova, Spain. His Moorish style is unique, and draws directly from the famous Cordova cathedral, where the side walls feature capped buttresses. Cruzado and his associates finished construction of the church in 1805, using adobe brick and a tiled roof like that of Mission San Antonio. At its peak, the mission reached nearly 300 feet in length. After the visit, continue south to Anaheim and check-in at your hotel. [B]
Day 5: Anaheim, San Diego (113 miles)
Forty-five minutes on Highway 5 and you arrive at Mission San Juan Capistrano, another top mission in southern California. The chapel’s beautiful altar, made of cherry wood and covered with gold leaf, is from Barcelona, Spain. At the center of the altar is a statue of St. John Capistran, the 15th-century Franciscan for whom the mission is named. This side chapel is dedicated to St. Peregrine, patron saint of cancer sufferers. His legendary self-healing of the disease has led many to visit this chapel in hope of a miraculous cure. Drive 30 miles south on the coastal highway and turn east at Oceanside to reach Mission San Luis Rey de Francía completed in 1815. The mission’s the church is the only surviving mission church built in a cruciform plan. What makes it unique are the wooden cupola and dome. The latter is built of pine wood and lets the top light easily illuminate the church. The reredos and the altar reflect both classical and baroque architecture. The mission tour begins at la sala general, a regal room used as a meeting place and a place to receive visitors. Take a break to eat, res and relax and continue to Mission San Diego de Alcalá 40 miles south. One of the most striking features of this mission is the 46-foot tall bell-tower, which holds five bells. The largest of these bronze bells is named Mater Dolorosa, and weighs a staggering 1,200 pounds. Common to all the missions, bells served an array of purposes: They announced the time for mass, work, meals, and siestas. Of course, they also warned of danger, tolled to honor the dead, rang to celebrate peace, and proclaimed the arrival of guests. After the visit, continue to nearby San Diego to check-in at your hotel. [B]
Day 6: San Diego, Hometown (10 miles)
Before you leave for the airport you need to make time for 3 unmissable San Diego sites so, please schedule your flight for late afternoon.
Be sure to head to the marina and visit the historic aircraft carrier USS Midway, one of America's longest serving aircraft carriers, now converted into a United States Navy museum. Explore a floating city at sea, the amazing flight deck and its aircraft, flight simulators and be inspired in the Battle of Midway Theater. Also, take a tour of various areas such as the post office, sleeping quarters, engine
room and even the ship's jail.
The area listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places as Gaslamp Quarter Historic District was mainly developed starting in 1867, when Alonzo Horton bought the land in hopes of creating a new city center closer to the bay, and chose 5th Avenue as its main street. This once "infamous" district has now become one of the city's coolest places offering 200 restaurants, underground bars and various concerts, Completely renovated, you will fall under the spell of its gas lampposts and Victorian buildings. Green spaces, theaters, street shows, lively bars… You will love it!
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Air & Space Museum houses a collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft from all over the world, including a flight-worthy replica of Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis,” the actual Apollo 9 Command Module, and the only real GPS satellite on display in the world. View artifacts from the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Wally Schirra and other aviation and space pioneers!
Drive to the airport to drop-off your car and board your flight back home. [B]
[B] = Breakfast
- Airfare Chicago-Los Angeles//San Diego-Chicago
- 5 nights’ accommodation at hotels of your choice:
- Oxnard 1 night
- Prismo Beach 1 night
- Santa Barbara 1 night
- Anaheim 1 night
- San Diego 1 night
- Breakfast daily where available
- Ford Focus rental for the duration of the trip including*:
- Automatic Transmission
- Air Conditioning
- 2 doors
- 4 seats
- Unlimited Mileage
- Sales Tax
- Local Fees
* Volkswagen Jetta for 4 people or Ford Explorer for 6 people. Car models are just for information and similar types may be substituted,
Not included in tour
- Airfare taxes and fees
- Car rental does not include:
- Additional Driver: $90
- Child Seat: $90
- Booster Seat: $90
- Rental GPS: $90
- Meals not mentioned under inclusions
- Travel Insurance
- Early check-in or late check out
- Wi-Fi in rooms
- Tips to guides or drivers
- Expenses of a personal nature
- Any item not mentioned as “Included”
|Oxnard||Hilton Garden Inn Oxnard Camarillo||4.5|
|Prismo Beach||Best Western Casa Grande Inn||4|
|Santa Barbara||Secret Garden Inn||4|
|Anaheim||Stanford Inn and Suites Anaheim||4|
|San Diego||Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Sorrento||4.5|
|Oxnard||Homewood Suites by Hilton Oxnard Camarillo||4.5|
|Prismo Beach||Inn at the Pier||4.5|
|Santa Barbara||Brisas del Mar Inn at the Beach||4.5|
|Anaheim||Embassy Suites by Hilton Anaheim South||4|
|San Diego||Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown||4|
|Superior First Class|
|Oxnard||Embassy Suites by Hilton Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort||3.5|
|Prismo Beach||Avila La Fonda Hotel||4.5|
|Santa Barbara||Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort||4|
|Anaheim||JW Marriott Anaheim Resort||5|
|San Diego||Hard Rock Hotel San Diego||4.5|
Hotels will be confirmed at time of booking
From: $559 including airfare from Chicago
Add-ons available from all US gateways.
Price above, based on Superior Tourist hotels and a minimum of 6 people traveling together, is per person and may change without notice. Prices for groups or smaller parties available.
These programs can be customized for individuals and for groups
Changes to this program may be requested by phone (1855-55-TOURS) or using the web FIT Quote Request
We also be glad to add the necessary airfare from your gateway so you take advantage of our special discounted leisure fares
You may add or remove;
Cities and sites
The program was designed with private services, however, we may substitute shared sightseeing where available
If you prefer deluxe services we may operate this program including private driver, private guide and concierge service.
Once we have designed the program the way you want we'll give you a quote within 2 business days.
Tour Code: US03LAX21DTT
Lunches and dinners can be arranged for individuals, families and groups at top restaurants or any restaurant requested by you.
We can revise the itinerary to spend more time and provide more depth in those areas that you are interested on.
Any other changes to the itinerary will be accommodated depending on the facilities available in the area.
Car can be upgraded upon request
If you wish to use these programs for your group or as the basis for a customized journey please either call us (1-855-55-TOURS or use the web Group Quote Request.
In either case our specialists will work with to refine all the details and they will get you a quote with 2 business days. Quotes may be obtained for the air and land portions of just for the lad journey.
Booking both air and land with us will represent savings for you because of our buying power and longtime relationship with the airlines.
We will also may have the choice between regular fares and special leisure fares not available to the public.