San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside was a curiosity to me when I moved to Southern California in the 90’s. I was not familiar with these Missions, didn’t realize there were 21 of them stretching from San Diego to Sonoma. I’ve toured several of them, and love the history and the architecture. Originally located on over 950,000 acres, the Mission now sits on 56 acres. It does stand out, easily seen from the highway. Most of the original land now housing developments. This site was chosen as the best place to raise livestock and crops. The San Luis Rey River ran behind the Mission, and was channeled for various purposes by the residents of Oceanside.
To see this mission, now over 200 years old, sitting near the homes in the area, gives you a real taste of what California (and San Diego County) was like all those years ago. The architecture is beautiful, hard to believe that the original logs used to build it came down from Palomar Mountain on ox carts. Only four of the eight original bells are still in the bell tower.
But the mission still stands, beautiful as ever, doors open to the public, daily tours available, burial plots still waiting for those who choose to spend eternity on these grounds. Many of the beautiful columns and arches are gone, but there are some that still remain. A look inside the historic church, still used on Sundays, as well as for weddings and funerals, will take your breath away. Drive out, have a look, take a tour, and enjoy our Mission in Oceanside California. You’ll want to see more of them!
You can find more historical info at http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/99spring/outposts.htm.