The famous road called El Camino Real, or “The King’s Highway,” which connected the twenty-one Franciscan Missions in California, has been the subject of song and story for many a year. For a long time the old highway fell into disuse in places and for considerable stretches along the seven hundred miles of its length between San Diego and Sonoma. Lately, however, an association of patriotic men and women has done much to restore the road. The ancient trail has been at last restored and the whole distance practically marked by wayside bells hung from iron posts. The route taken by El Camino Real is as follows :
Beginning at the Mission of San Diego and the old town of San Diego, the road of the padres passes through Morena, At-wood, Ladrillo, Sorrento, Delmar, Encinitas, Merl, Lacosta, Carlsbad, South Onofre, San Juan, Mission San Juan Capistrano (via south road), thence along the old Capistrano road to Myford-Irving to Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange, Anaheim, Fullerton and La Habra to Whittier, East Whittier, San Gabriel, Alhambra, Los Angeles, Hollywood, through Cahuenga Pass to Calabasas, Grape Arbor, Newberry Park, Camarillo, Springville, El Rio, Montalvo, Ventura, Mission Buenaventura, El Rincon, Carpinteria, Ortega, Summerland, Miramar, Santa Barbara, Mission Santa Barbara, thence via Hollister Avenue to Goleta, Elwood, Gaviota, Mission Santa Ynez, Lompoc, Mission La Purisima Concepcion, Harris, Santa Maria, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Pismo, San Luis Hot Sulphur Springs, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, Cuesta, Santa Margarita, Dove, Temple-ton, Paso Robles, Mission San Miguel, Pleyto, Jolon, Mission San Antonio de Padua, Lowes, Soledad, Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, Salinas City, Natividad, Mission San Juan Bautista, Sargent, Gilroy, San Martin, Coyote, San Jose, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Mateo, Burlingame, San Bruno (junction), Colma, to San Francisco. Also from San Rafael to Sonoma.
From San Jose, El Camino Real leads to Mission San Jose ; thence to San Leandro, Oakland, through to San Pablo.
From Salinas City, El Camino Real leads to Monterey and to Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Carmelo de Monterey.
From Santa Clara, El Camino Real leads to Santa Cruz ; from Santa Cruz the “Camino Real de Santa Cruz” leads to Mission San Juan Bautista.
From Cahuenga Pass, “Camino Real de San Fernando” leads to Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana.
From Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, “Camino Real de San Bernardino” leads to San Bernardino and the site of the Capilla de San Bernardino.