Update W: Creating A Tour – Early Stages of Our California Missions Tour

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Photo 1: Stunning Scenery at Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Photo 1: Stunning Scenery at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

 A Look into the Early Stages of The Archaeological Conservancy’s California Missions Tour

TAC’s western office is in the initial stages of designing an exciting new week-long tour pertaining to the California Missions.

Established between 1769 and 1823, the 21 Spanish missions align the coastal area of California from San Diego in the south to Sonoma in the north.  The colonization of what is now California by Spanish powers through the creation of missions was in part to protect the colony from Russian pressures in the north.  Today they attract a wide variety of visitors with interests ranging from art and architecture, religious and social histories, and Native American studies.

Photo 2: TAC President Mark Michel and TAC Western Regional Director Cory Wilkins posing with Father Junipero Serra, who founded the first nine missions in California
Photo 2: TAC President Mark Michel and TAC Western Regional Director Cory Wilkins posing with Father Junipero Serra, who founded the first nine missions in California

Our first step in creating the California Mission Tour was to do all the leg work to visit each mission and to determine which would be a good fit for the tour based on various factors like location, content, and general impression of each Mission.

TAC western staff and TAC President, Mark Michel, visited the twelve southern-most missions in November and then the western staff visited the remaining nine in the northern part of the state in December.  The staff took note of the availability of docents to provide an intimate tour, time needed to explore the missions, and what special characteristics each mission complex contains.

Photo 3: Inside Mission San Francisco de Asis, California.
Photo 3: Inside Mission San Francisco de Asis, California.

Much effort goes into creating and designing a tour.  Once it is determined which missions  are true gems, they form the focus of the tour.  A travel route has to be designed, overnight lodging options evaluated, additional sites to visit established, a tour guide and/or guest speakers selected, and the list goes on to make sure every detail is covered and up to our standards.

TAC’s western staff is excited to be working on this new endeavor, learning about a significant era in California’s history and can’t wait to share it with our future participants.

–Deanna Commons, Western Regional Field Representative

Read our summer article intro and view many gorgeous Mission images in Visiting California’s Historic Missions

Explore Our Other Fabulous Upcoming Tours

Photo 4: Display at the Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad.
Photo 4: Display at the Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad.
Having Fun Western Regional Director Cory Wilkins posing as Friar Tubby
Photo 5: Having Fun Western Regional Director Cory Wilkins posing as Friar Tubby

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