California Pilgrimage Itinerary
Experience the glory of the California Missions on this pilgrimage.
Experience the glory of the California Missions on this pilgrimage.
Our California Missions pilgrimage begins as we touch down this morning at the San Diego Airport. We collect our baggage and belongings and are greeted in the arrivals hall by our Canterbury tour manager who remains with us every step along our way. We board our private motor coach and arrive at our first stop, the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, the first of the 21 California Missions. We celebrate Mass inside the Mission and participate in a docent-led tour of the beautiful Mission church and grounds. We break for lunch on our own and journey to our second stop where we explore the 1,200 beautiful acres of San Diego’s picturesque Balboa Park. Lush grounds, from gardens to forests, fountains and sweeping architecture from Spanish Colonial Revival to mid-century Modern span the heart of the Park, along with over 17 award-winning museums. We enjoy a welcome dinner and settle into our hotel for the night. Overnight in Oceanside, CA (Dinner)
Today we start with a warm breakfast at our hotel. We set off to visit Mission San Juan Capistrano, named after the 14th century theologian, it remains one of the most picturesque sites in all of California. We continue on our journey, stopping to visit and celebrate Mass at the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, which serves as the final resting place for some 6,000 neophytes, the natives who converted to Catholicism there. We break for some time to enjoy lunch at our leisure. Before sunset, we make our way up Mount Hollywood to visit the famed Griffith Observatory. This art deco landmark from 1935 features a high-tech planetarium, public telescopes & views of the Los Angeles Basin, Hollywood, and the Pacific Ocean. We transfer to our hotel for dinner, check-in and relaxation. Overnight Pasadena (Breakfast & Dinner)
Following breakfast, we head north to Santa Barbara. Here we visit and celebrate Mass at the “Queen of the Missions,” Mission Santa Barbara. Mission Santa Barbara is the only mission to have remained in Franciscan custody since its founding date. Before leaving the city, we take time to appreciate its lovely shops and streets, enjoying lunch on our own and a little time for exploration. Satisfied, we proceed to Solvang where the old-world charm of Northern Europe meets the blue skies of Southern California. Here, the Danish made settlement in 1911, building in the traditional Danish style-a style that the city has kept up, even until today. Upon arrival, dinner and overnight. Overnight Solvang (Breakfast & Dinner)
We enjoy breakfast at our hotel and remain in Solvang a bit longer to enjoy a tour of the Mission Santa Inés, noted as one of the best-preserved California Missions. From here we journey north to visit and celebrate Mass at the Mission San Luis Obispo, the 5th mission which was founded by St. Junipero himself. The area was dubbed by earlier hunters the ‘Canyon of the Bears’ and when food began to run low at other missions, Junipero sent a hunting mission to the area to test the legend. The mission was a huge success and St. Luis Obispo was founded. Lunch is on our own followed by leisure time in Morro Bay. We can see why the bay’s prominent ‘Morro Rock’, a volcanic plug, is commonly known as the Gibraltar of the Pacific. The area boasts miles of unspoiled beaches and nature trails to roam. Finally, we settle into our hotel for dinner and overnight. Overnight San Luis Obispo (Breakfast & Dinner)
After breakfast, we’re off to Monterey for our irreplaceable visit to Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Río Carmelo. Junípero Serra is entombed beneath the sanctuary of the mission church. Here we celebrate Mass, view his sarcophagus, see his room where he passed away in 1784, and view several of his vestments. On to our next stop, we depart for Pebble Beach Resort’s famous 17-Mile Drive, stopping along the way for lunch on our own. The 17-Mile Drive takes us through an enchanting world full of dramatic coastal cliffs and snow-white beaches, accompanied by luxurious golf-courses, deep forests and the giant trees at Crocker Grove. Before checking into our hotel, we enjoy leisure time and dinner at Monterey’s popular Cannery Row. Overnight Monterey (Breakfast & Dinner)
This morning we have breakfast at our hotel and transfer north to visit and celebrate Mass at the Mission San Francisco de Asís, the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco. After our tour, we head to Pier 33 for lunchtime at leisure before boarding our ferry to explore the notorious prison & once home to Al Capone, Alcatraz. We cap the day with dinner in the Pier 39 area of San Francisco and explore its many sights and shops as we desire. Ready to relax, we transfer to our hotel for a dinner and check-in. Overnight San Francisco (Breakfast & Dinner)
Breakfast at our hotel is followed by a pleasant drive to the famed Sonoma Wine Region and Marin County area, where the vineyards are aesthetically tucked between the Pacific Ocean and the Mayacamas Mountains. Our first stop is the beautiful Cline Cellars, a family-owned Napa winery located on the original Sonoma Mission site. Here we learn about the history of the property, see the Barrel Room, meet resident animals and visit the California Missions Museum which hosts miniature to-scale models of all 21 missions. We have lunch on our own and continue to the last of the originally established California Missions, Mission San Francisco Solano. The mission was founded in 1823 and is located 40 miles north of San Francisco across from the site of the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt. All aboard this evening for a gourmet farewell dinner on the Napa Valley Wine Train. We travel through the lush Napa Valley countryside aboard an elegant vintage train, just as the Valley’s vineyards are bathed in beautiful, golden hour sunlight. Overnight San Francisco area (Breakfast & Dinner)
After breakfast we make way to the San Francisco airport. With a renewed sense of pilgrimage and an invigorated love of our Catholic faith, we bid farewell to our fellow pilgrims and new friends and board our plane for the flight home. (Breakfast)
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"I have been greatly privileged to serve as pilgrimage chaplain for numerous Canterbury pilgrimages. Each trip is Catholic through and through and creates the perfect environment in which to encounter the Living Christ. Every day is an opportunity to grow in our faith and understanding, to experience the reality of the Gospels. Throughout each Canterbury pilgrimage, one is spiritually lifted through daily Mass, rosary’s, prayers and reflections along the way. For this reason, Canterbury pilgrimages are not vacations, they are spiritual journeys that have the ability to impact us even after we’ve returned to our homes. In addition to the wonderful faith-oriented environment, Canterbury really excels in caring for its pilgrims. From the extremely helpful staff who are knowledgeable and timely, to the superb accommodations and hearty high-quality meals, Canterbury seamlessly brings you on the adventure of a lifetime. I highly recommend Canterbury Pilgrimages to anyone eager to grow in his or her Catholic faith."
"Canterbury will treat you like family! It’s been wonderful to travel hassle free each year and to know that my needs and the needs of my pilgrims are well attended to, whether I bring 20 people or 300! Each pilgrimage with Canterbury is a turnkey operation. They work with me to piece together an itinerary I am enthusiastic about, provide beautiful promotional materials and take care of all the calls, registrations and payments. They work with pilgrims on specific requests to ensure a truly personalized pilgrimage- Do you want to meet your sister in Chicago and fly out with her? No problem! Would you like to upgrade your flight? Of course! Do you need a room near the elevator across from your friend? Say no more! Each pilgrim is important, and they’ve got it under control. I’ve really enjoyed the smooth travel itineraries, luxurious hotels, and the incredibly knowledgeable and friendly guides and staff. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience and it is fantastic to be able to sit back and relax while Canterbury takes care of every detail, small and large. They provide an environment in which pilgrims can focus on taking in the beauty and history of the places visited and, more importantly, they provide the opportunity for pilgrims to enrich their relationships with Christ in a once in a lifetime way. "
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