The Quaint Charm of San Juan Bautista

Located just an hour south of bustling Silicon Valley, CA is the quaint city of San Juan Bautista. This charming little town has managed to maintain its humble origins and has respectfully preserved its history and authenticity.

You won’t find trendy stores and Michelin Star restaurants but you will find a town steeped in history, filled with heart and reflective of the people who live here. Small antique stores, art galleries, gift shops along with a few restaurants line the half~mile long main strip of town.

One of the main reasons why this town holds a special place in my heart is because of the historic Mission San Juan Bautista.

@2016 Susan Edel

I adore the California Missions and this is one of my favorite missions because much of the original structure remains and it is the largest California mission church and the only one with three aisles.

@2016 Susan Edel

Musical arts were taught here and the mission owned many instruments. As you tour the mission, heavenly monk style music is piped throughout the corridor creating a serene ambiance. {Click on first image to see slideshow}

A little fun fact: In the fall of 1957, scenes from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1957 production of the movie Vertigo starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes was filmed around the mission.

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Story board rendering for Vertigo.

When in town, be sure to have lunch or dinner at Jardines de San Juan Mexican restaurant. If you’re a fan of beef burritos, their “People’s Choice” burrito is a must!

@2016 Susan Edel

I come to this town sometimes when I want to feel grounded, grateful, and connected. This is the type of place that feeds your soul, not your ego…and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

Comments

  1. Looks delightful – is it an achievable day excursion from San Fran?

    • No, it’s way south of SF. If you were driving south on hwy 101 towards central Ca it would be worth a stop, but not a specific trip from SF.

      • ok thanks. More likely to head north I think rather than south this time round. I’ve noted it though for next time! Anywhere else you might suggest – I’ve made note of some of your other posts – Mendocino, Elk, Bodega Bay……. 🙂

  2. I don’t know how I missed this post earlier. I actually lived in San Juan Bautista when I was a kid. My youngest sister was baptized in the Mission Church. My parents owned a little gift shop/art gallery that is now the ice cream place. We actually lived in the back of the store! Your description and pictures are beautiful and spot on. My sister and I now live in NJ and it’s been some time since we have visited. Thank you for sharing the beauty and serenity of San Juan Bautista.

    • What a great story, thanks for sharing. I truly love that SJB has remained a quaint town in the midst of all the development in the Bay Area. I hope you get to visit sometime again, it probably hasn’t changed much sine you were there! 🙂

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