Back in December, I launched the first of what was meant to be a nine-part series about Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, also know as Old Mission San Luis Rey. Charlie and I enjoy visiting the Old California Missions in San Diego County from time-to-time and this one, located in the coastal community of Oceanside, California, is by far our favorite. Stunningly restored, Mission San Luis Rey de Francia deserves its name – King of the Missions.
We have gone back many times and each time I take way too many pictures! So, after culling and sorting my hundreds and hundreds of photos of Mission San Luis Rey, I decided that in order to do this glorious Mission justice, I would need to write multiple posts. My original goal was to launch them and share them with readers throughout the month of December. But, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season quickly outpaced my ambitious goal and I only launched the first two in December:
Now with Easter just a few weeks away, I’ve decided to try and finish this series over the next few weeks. My hope is that this series of posts will encourage visitors to Southern California to put Mission San Luis Rey de Francia on their bucket list! This lovely Mission Bell (above) rests atop an old brick corner post marking the boundary of the private garden just beyond the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia Welcome Center.
Just outside Mission San Luis Rey de Francia Welcome Center lies a peaceful and beautifully landscaped garden. Three sides of the garden are enclosed by surrounding and interconnected buildings and the fourth side, outside Mission San Luis Rey de Francia Welcome Center, is framed by a brick and mortar Carriage Arch. Difficult to photograph in its entirety, I took photos from both the left and right and then the entire top of the arch:
Signage and fencing announce to visitors of Mission San Luis Rey that this is a “quiet zone” and that this is a private garden not open to the public. But, guests can peek into the lovely grounds from the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia Welcome Center.
Housing “the oldest pepper tree in California” within the confines of this private garden, the tree still stands 186 years later.
A portion of the Carriage Arch with the ancient pepper tree on the right in the distance.
Another view of the pepper tree through the Carriage Arch.
Sunbathing lizard enjoying the nooks and crannies of the Carriage Arch.
Mission Bell atop an old brick pillar framed by two buildings in this quadrangle.
Round brick building in the center of private garden.
Roses blooming in profusion in the private garden.
Cypress trees hugging a building in the quadrangle.
Broom resting outside an arched door in the quadrangle.
Cypress trees cresting the red tile rooftop of a building in the quadrangle against an impossibly blue, cloud-strewn sky.
A potted hanging succulent for sale in the Welcome Center’s garden gift shop.
A potted miniature garden adorned with a Mission Church and figurines for sale in the Welcome Center’s garden gift shop.
Another potted miniature garden for sale in the Welcome Center’s garden gift shop.
An old rusted Mission Bell nestled in a bed of lavender in the gardens beyond the Welcome Center. So lovely!
Other posts from our many visits to Mission San Luis Rey de Francia aka Old Mission San Luis Rey:
And, other Missions we have visited: