This City of History is a place to explore the past. The San Juan Bautista State Park is a nationally recognized historic landmark that represents what was once the town square of the largest town in Central California. With structures from the 1800s that include the only authentic Spanish Plaza left in California, it was a stopping off point on the original El Camino Real. California’s largest mission is here, home to El Teatro Campesino, a Latino theatrical troupe founded in 1965.

Located in the San Juan Valley, this town sits in the shadow of Fremont Peak, a summit in the Gabilan range and part of the Fremont Peak State Park. A drive to the top and a short walk brings you to The Fremont Peak Observatory, a favorite viewing site for astronomers and, on a clear night, where the mysteries of the cosmos unfolds with the help of a Newtonian Challenger telescope.

The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, unraveled his own mystery with his psychological thriller, Vertigo, starring the Mission belltower and one-time local resident Kim Novak.

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