Monday, August 13, 2012
I'm sure there's a lot more history to see in Oceanside than I'm covering today, but I'm hitting a few of the high points. First, start by following the signs along the freeway to the California Welcome Center at 928 N. Coast Highway. They have both reasonably clean bathrooms and the brochures you'll need to guide you to your other destinations. Pick up whatever pamphlets interest you, but be sure to get information on Mission San Luis Rey, the Heritage Park Village & Museum, and the "Self Guided History Tour of Downtown Oceanside."
Our first stop is Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, at 4050 Mission Ave, founded in 1798 as the 18th mission in California. Its impressive and pristine church was built in 1811, the year before the Great Stone Church at San Juan Capistrano was destroyed in an earthquake. Perhaps finally learning the lesson of its sister to the north, San Luis Rey is currently being seismically retrofitted, which means visitors don't have access to much of the church at the moment. Still, you can get close enough to admire much of the interior details.
Right around the corner from the Mission, at 220 Peyri Drive, is Oceanside's Heritage Park Village & Museum. Created in the 1970s in response to the bicentennial push to preserve local history, the park features a number of locally important buildings that were moved to the site to keep them out of the bulldozer's path.
Just beyond the park's boundaries are the 1860s cemetery where the town's Protestant pioneers are buried, and an early adobe home.
walking tour map comes in handy. There's plenty to interesting architecture to admire here, from the 1880s through today.
Some of the cool things you'll see aren't even on the map, but are worth a few photographs -- For instance, the Star Theater on South Coast Highway, with it's amazing neon sign and space-age ticket booth. Now THAT makes me want to see a movie. Unfortunately, it is now a church, so you can forget about that buttered popcorn.
post office in Downtown Huntington Beach.
Posted by Chris Jepsen at 8/13/2012