San Diego is a city that has multiple attractions and activities of all types to enjoy if you are visiting the city, and there is something to suit all preferences If you are interested in history and would like to find out more about San Diego during a visit, then one of the best attractions to visit is the Junipero Serra Museum. This is one of the most historically significant landmarks in the whole of California, and it is widely considered an iconic symbol of San Diego, where it presides magnificently on top of a hill overlooking the city. Here are just 10 of the reasons why you should visit the Junipero Serra Museum when you next visit San Diego.
1. Learn About the History of California
For those who want to learn more about the area when they are visiting San Diego, this is a perfect attraction. The museum is built on the site that is considered the beginning of California. It is where Father Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan missionary, and a group of soldiers led by Gaspar de Portola arrived in 1768. They then established the site as the first mission and presidio in Alta California. The museum houses interesting exhibits regarding the founding of the city and the development of the surrounding state. The exhibits come in various forms, including educational videos, displays of artwork, photographs, personal accounts, and archaeological artifacts.
2. Admire the Architecture
The architecture of the museum is another good reason why you should visit this attraction. According to the San Diego Museum Council, The Junipero Serra Museum was built between 1928 and 1929. The structure was designed by architect William Templeton Johnson, and it was intended for housing and showcasing the collection of the San Diego History Center, which later became the San Diego Historical Society. This landmark is built in the Spanish Revival architectural style, and it is intended to resemble the early missions that were once a dominant feature of the South Californian landscape.
3. Guided Tours
The Junipero Serra Museum offers guided tours that are led by experienced guides who have excellent knowledge of the history of the area. By taking a guided tour, you will enhance the learning experience of a visit to this museum and have the opportunity to ask questions about specific elements of the local area’s history.
4. Special Exhibitions
Although the highlight of any visit is the core exhibition, which is a permanent feature, there are also many special exhibitions held throughout the year. These focus on different aspects of the history of San Diego or California, and there are also some exhibitions that put the highlight on modern Californian life and culture. If you visit at various times throughout the year, you can see different exhibitions each time you visit.
5. Admire the Art
If you are an art enthusiast, you will find plenty to interest you during your visit. The exhibitions on display include various forms of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and photography. These include pieces from the various eras, including some modern work. Therefore, you should find pieces of art that appeal to you.
6. Attend an Event
There are various events that take place in the museum throughout the year. Before you embark on your visit to the area, you should check out what is on so that you can plan your visit to the museum for a day when an event is being held that interests you.
7. Walk the Park
Junipero Serra Museum is set within Presidio Park. This park was first established as a fort to protect against Indian attacks and foreign invasions. It then became a place for people to live at the foot of the hill. By 1835, it was completely abandoned and only ruins remained. It was transformed into a park after George Marsden bought Presidio Hill in 1907. He was unable to obtain funding to preserve the historic site, so he turned it into a park instead. This pretty park is the perfect place to take a stroll, and you can see the spot where Junipero Serra planted a palm tree, which has since been declared as a California Historical Landmark. You will find your stroll around the park a relaxing and peaceful activity.
8. Enjoy a Picnic
Another activity that you can enjoy when you visit the Junipero Serra Museum is a picnic. Set in the stunning grounds of Presidio Park, you can take a break from viewing the exhibitions and sit in the park to enjoy your lunch and admire your surroundings. This is a good option if you plan to spend a full day at this attraction and do not want to leave to grab a bite to eat. Taking along a picnic also keeps down the cost of a day out in San Diego.
9. Enjoy Stunning Views
One of the best features of this museum and the surrounding park is the spectacular views that you can enjoy. From the highest point of Presidio Park and from within the museum, you can enjoy sweeping views across the city, the Pacific Ocean, and over the San Diego River valley. You can also see some of San Diego’s most significant landmarks from this viewpoint. This is the perfect opportunity to take some stunning photographs to commemorate your visit to San Diego.
10. It’s a Free Attraction
If the things that you can do while you are at the museum are not enough reason to visit, then something that may persuade you is that this is a completely free attraction. Therefore, it is an interesting day out for those who are visiting the area and who have only a limited budget to spend. However, this is an attraction that is funded entirely by donations, so they do ask visitors if they are willing to voluntarily donate a few dollars for admission, though there is no pressure to do so.