The rich history of San Diego is owed in part to the explorers who discovered our city and in part to the churches and religious sects that chose to settle here. In those days, church was a larger part of their lives than school; these religious adventurers carved a life out of an area that was wild and dangerous. Today, we may not be as religious as our ancestors, but we cherish the landmarks and structures they built that are still standing strong today. This list of the top religious landmarks and top things to do in San Diego area will give you a new respect for those brave settlers.

Places to Visit in San Diego: Mission San Diego de Alcalá, 10818 San Diego Mission Road

Built in 1769, the Mission San Diego de Alcalá was the first Franciscan Mission in what was then known as New Spain. Still in use today, guided tours are offered Monday through Friday at 9:00, 11:00, and 1:00. Each tour costs $2 per person and lasts about 90 minutes, allowing guests a peek into the early days of San Diego as they take in the beauty and serenity of a structure designed for peace.

Mission San Juan Capistrano, 26801 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano

If we can tempt you with a relatively short drive up the Coast Highway on your list of top things to do in San Diego, your next pilgrimage will take you to the Mission San Juan Capistrano, built in the year our country became an independent nation, 1776. Offering a variety of tours, including audio, guided, and tours of the garden, general admission ticket costs start at $7 and top out at $10 according to age.

Our Lady of the Rosary, 1668 State Street

Compared to the first two missions we’ve discussed, Our Lady of the Rosary is little more than a teenager. Completed on Christmas Eve in 1923, the grand altar and painted ceilings of this sweet Catholic will have you giving thanks for its existence. There aren’t tours offered, but they welcome visitors to their masses.

Mount Soledad Cross

This large concrete cross constructed atop Mount Soledad hasn’t always faced smooth sailing; built in 1913 and then rebuilt two more times after, the battles over mixing church and state have since ended. Standing tall enough to be seen from all over the San Diego area, the road to the top of this places to visit in San Diego is a popular one for cyclists, but its fine if you just want to drive up for a little peace, quiet, serenity, and a view that will take your breath away.

Serenity is Just One of the Amenities We Offer in Our 710 Beach Rentals Vacation Homes

As you explore the beaches and streets of our favorite city on Earth, you may find it a little overwhelming. Fortunately, our homes are designed to bring peace and serenity to our guests who choose to inhabit them. Reserve yours today and take a few hours to just sit and breathe.

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