European interest in California stretches back over 400 years. Spanish mariners began exploring the Pacific coast of North America in the early 16th century.
It was a time when powers such as Spain, England, France and Ottoman Empire competed for control of land and trade in Europe, the Near East and Africa. Seeking to outflank her rivals in Europe, Spain supported explorers and adventurers who could find areas of expansion in the Americas, where empires such as the Aztecs and Incas also expanded and conquered neighboring peoples.
Continue reading Early Exploration of California
The Spanish missions are the most iconic symbols of the the California frontier. And while they weren’t the only frontier institutions in Spanish and Mexican California, they continue to be the most visible monuments to California’s rich heritage.
Continue reading What Were the Spanish Missions in California?
Once a Native American settlement and later a rancho, Ulistac Natural Area is now a great place for a kid-friendly day hike in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Continue reading A Hidden Gem: Ulistac Natural Area (Video)
Mission San Antonio de Pala, founded in 1816, is a living Native community and an important destination on your next visit to San Diego.
Continue reading Why You Need to Visit San Antonio de Pala
A new exhibit on the life of Junípero Serra made its New York debut in January. It tells the story of the missionary from Mallorca in his own words.
Continue reading ¡Siempre Adelante! Junípero Serra Goes to New York