Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Evening at the Mission ~ Night at the Hacienda

Travel down the Camino Real of California's Central Coast, and you will come upon the 18th century Mission San Antonio de Padua, the third of the missions founded by Father Junipero Serra.

Each year the Mission hosts an "Evening in the Garden" festival. The entire complex is adorned with church candles, swags of autumn leaves and tables with arrangements of nature's bounty.

Costumed musicians play music evocative of both the Colonial and the Hispanic heritage of the area.

The tables are laden with local food and wines.

And the paths in the Garden are lit with luminaries.

One mile down the road is the Hacienda Guest Lodge - a perfect place for a sleepover.

The Hacienda is a Spanish revival white stucco and red tile roof building. which was built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst in the 1930's. It was designed by Julia Morgan who was the architect of his San Simeon Castle. Hearst used the Hacienda as a working ranch, and as a guest house for his famous friends-Jean Harlowe, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Marion Davies, Will Rogers, and Dick Powell.

In 1940, Hearst sold the building to the US Army. Today the Lodge is located on the grounds of Fort Hunter Liggett Miltary Reservation, but is open to the public. There are 4 tower rooms, 2 garden rooms, and 5 cowboy rooms with bathrooms down the hall. So you can stay in a room once occupied by Clark and Jean, or Erroll. Oh if the walls could talk!

Many touches from Hearst's day remain-including this mural in what is now the breakfast room.

At the entrance to the base, is this old general store. It will soon be the site of a group tasting room for the wineries of the San Antonio Valley wine region. This undiscovered area produces some outstanding full-bodied red wines.

Already Planning a Return Trip,


  1. thanks for showing this wonderful part of the world. What a combination.Colonial and Hispanic.

  2. Sign me up for an overnite stay!!!!!!!!Thanks for the beautiful pictures...... Maryanne xo

  3. A good place for a blogger reunion!