A lot of people from California can remember going a to a mission on a school field trip or a family day trip. For me, Mission San Juan Capistrano was my favorite.
California Missions were created to convert Native Americans to Christianity and to create new Spanish citizens. They were self- sufficient communities that were to act as churches once the locals were converted and trained. There were 21 missions in all, lasting from 1769 until about 1833, when Mexico secularized the missions.
Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded in 1776 and is known as the birthplace of Orange County. It's famous for the annual return of the swallows in March. The Mission has gone to great strides to keep the swallows returning to Mission Grounds. The Mission is beautiful and truly is a tranquil place.