Jolon Travel Guide

  • inside the chapel
    inside the chapel
    by grandmaR
  • Mission architecture
    Mission architecture
    by grandmaR
  • Fort Hunter Liggett
    Fort Hunter Liggett
    by Ewingjr98

Jolon Things to Do

  • Mission San Antonio De Padua

    This was the third mission established among the 21 California missions, and it still retains the charm of the a surrounding oak studded valley. In July 1771, 3 padres and their small mission party hung a bronze bell in an oak tree and commemorated the establishment of San Antonio De Padua. The current mission is 3 miles from the original location...

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  • Naciemiento-Ferguson Road to Big Sur

    A unique and scenic way to drive to Big Sur from Hwy 101 is via Nacimiento Fergusson Road. This 20-some mile stretch of road crosses Fort Hunter-Liggett on the way from Jolon, near Highway 101, to Highway 1 south of the town of Big Sur on the Coast.About half of the route in on Fort Hunter Liggett. Here you can stop at historic sites such as...

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  • Hearst Hacienda

    Sure you can pay $20 or more and hang out with thousands of tourists at the world famous Hearst Castle. But did you know Hearst had another mansion near Big Sur called the Hearst Hacienda? Even better, this second mansion is far from the throngs of tourists, and free to visit.Before he constructed the massive Hearst Castle, William Randolph Hearst,...

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  • Mission San Antonio de Padua

    Mission San Antonio de Padua was constructed in 1771 and was the third of 21 Spanish missions in California. The original location was a few miles away, but the facilities were moved to the current location in 1773. The missionaries built the mission much as you see it today, with a large quadrangle, mission church, a mill, and reservoirs. Through...

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  • Los Padres National Forest

    Stretching 220 miles between Monterey and Los Angeles County, Los Padres National Forest encompasses 1.75 million acres of mostly chaparral, oak, evergreen, pinyon-juniper, and conifer forest. Interestingly, since 1912, 2.3 million acres have burned within the forest, obviously some areas have been torched more than once, particularly in the...

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  • Fort Hunter Liggett

    Everyone knows you get to Big Sur via Highway 1, but few seem to know about the back way to Big Sur via the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. About half of this route runs through the Los Padres National Forest, while the other half goes through Fort Hunter-Liggett, an active US Army post.The main gate at Hunter-Liggett is near Jolon, just off Highway 101....

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  • Hearst's Hacienda Hotel

    Julia Morgan designed the Hacienda for Randolph Hearst to a mission revival style. The Hacienda served as the end stage of accommodations for Hearst and his Hollywood star friends during the 1920's and 30's. Riding by horseback from the Hearst Castle, friends camp along the way, and then arrive here to stay in what was then delux "dude ranch" style...

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  • Logging and Wheat Production at the...

    Nearby the mission are outdoor demonstration models of sorts that show how pine trees brought down from the Santa Lucia Mountains were cut into beams and planks by a two indian rip saw. Many of these tools appear quite old and rusty but like the signs that explain them, are likely reconstructions made perhaps 30 years ago or more. The indians today...

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  • Water Resource Engineering by the Padres

    The mission padres and others document well the productive capacity of Mission San Antonio de Padua. Indeed, one of the earliest feats of engineering within California was the tapping of the water resources of the San Antonio creek, and its diversion to a small reservoir. This control and distribution of water by a stone culvert and by the noria,...

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  • Indian Basketry and Customs

    Near the gift shop, that has mostly cheap junk souvenirs for children, there are a couple of glass cabinets that contain a small but excellent collection of original California indian basketry. Nevermind the exact age, most probably late nineteenth and some early twentieth century baskets made for tourists, these are all extremely valuable...

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  • Mission Museum

    Inside the sequence of restored monastery rooms is a museum of considerable merit. The best part of the museum are the models of mission crafts, some containing original mission pieces, others recreated. Wood working, metal working, weaving, wine making, and so on are shown by these models. At the back of the museum is access to the supposed...

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  • Mission Church Interiors

    The mission church is quite wide for a single aisle design. The construction is simple and efficient in design compared to many of the later built missions, and because the ruins were looted for their best artwork, only a few, but still significant, instructional paintings of the apostles and other biblical scenes remain on the church walls....

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  • Mission San Antonio de Padua

    This mission is the most out-of the way of the missions which the Spanish established in California, but it is worth the visit. It is in a scenic setting in the Santa Lucia Mountains, and the immediate area is largely undeveloped. The mission is both quite beautiful and substantial as well, while there are some additional ruins of subsidiary...

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  • Frescos

    Here is another fresco inside the mission. This one is in the music room, and it looks so esoteric - I really like it!

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  • Music

    Frescos can be found throughout the mission, reflecting their daily lives. This room has musical instruments on display.

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Jolon Off The Beaten Path

  • El Camino Real as it Originally Appeared

    I walked all around the grounds of the missions, of course, and found a section of the El Camino Real that appeared to me just exactly as it might have a couple hundred years ago, minus the traffic of padres, soldiers, and indians.

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  • Light and Shapes

    I love the old way of building with the adobe bricks, with the irregular lines. The light and shadow here is really striking, I think.

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  • Peacocks in the courtyard

    One of the things that is a surprise is to come across a peacock wandering around the overgrown courtyard of the mission.

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