Explore San Diego: King of the Missions

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Beauty, tranquility and history. For anyone looking to unplug and unwind, this is the place.  Private rooms surround a rose garden, quiet enough to meditate. Or take a stroll through the labyrinth and let the sound of silence clear your thoughts.

So where are we talking about?

Old Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside was founded in 1798 and nicknamed the “King of the Missions” because it’s the largest in California. The grounds are full of history, from the oldest pepper tree in the state to the oldest cemetery in North County and also a centuries-old church standing since 1815 and still holding daily mass. Inside you’ll find original designs, famous paintings and a side chapel for prayer.

There’s also a museum with several artifacts, like an original document signed by President Lincoln giving ownership of the church back to the Franciscan Friars.

So whether you come for a day tour or a weekend retreat, be sure to not disturb the friars who live and study at this historic San Diego landmark.

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