In 1781, settlers departed from this mission to found El Pueblo de Los Angeles in today’s Downtown area. Set about 3 miles southeast of Pasadena in the city of San Gabriel, it’s the fourth in the chain of 21 missions in California and is one of the prettiest.

Its church boasts Spanish Moorish flourishes, a copper baptismal font, carved statues of saints and a 1790 altar made in Mexico City. The mission surroundings are also well worth a quick stroll. Following Mission Dr takes you past the 1927 Civic Auditorium, the Civic Center, a historical museum and galleries.