What’s the attraction: The 14th of the 21 California missions, Mission San Jose de Guadalupe was founded in 1797 by Father Fermin Lasuen. It was built on a site that was a part of a natural highway from the Livermore Valley to the San Joaquin Valley. The mission grounds include the church, cemetery, quadrangle, a visitor’s center and a museum.
What is there to see? You can take a self-guided tour through the grounds and imagine what life might have been like in the late 1700s to the early to mid-1800s. Admire the architecture while strolling through the church, which is 125 feet long, 30 feet wide and 24 feet high. Wander through the quadrangle, which featured 10-foot high adobe walls that encircled a soap factory and tannery. Behind it was where the Indian homes sat along with a kitchen garden, an orchard and a vineyard. You can also check out the cemetery and the many old headstones scattered about. To complete your mission visit, take a peek into the museum and watch the slide show that tells the history of the museum.