Southern California has a rich history to go along with the stunning scenery and perfect weather. The settlement of the state can mostly be attributed to the establishment of Spanish missions, as they brought their resources along with their religion to the area. A testament to this mission history lies in Serra Cross Park in Ventura, California. Those looking for a slice of history to go with a fun afternoon in a beautiful park will certainly want to make Serra Park a must-visit on your next trip to Ventura!
The history of Serra Cross Park is closely tied with the founding of the Mission San Buenaventura. On Easter Sunday in 1782, a Spanish missionary named Father Junipero Serra founded the mission. Mission San Buenaventura was the 9th mission that he founded, and it was to be his last. After the founding of the mission, Father Serra walked to the beach south of the church, blessed the land, and erected a large wooden cross on the site. The cross helped mark the church and lead followers to the site. Although the original cross-and several crosses since then-have been destroyed by age and elements, a replacement is always made. Today, a gorgeous park surrounds the area and is a delight to both visitors and locals alike.
Although the cross has been on the site for over 200 years, the area surrounding the cross did not become a park until 1918. Serra Park is maintained by the Serra Cross Park Conservancy, who operate solely on donations. The cross is surrounded by an elevated stone circle that makes for a great photo op. Serra Cross Park is a popular spot for weddings, as the ocean views beyond the park are like no other. This is the perfect place to take a stroll or sit on a bench and enjoy the views. Unlike other parks or beaches, parking here is easy to access and there is ample parking for over 200 people. However, there are not many amenities available on site, so be sure to make arrangements elsewhere.
Serra Cross Park is not only a stunning landmark that speaks to the missionary history of the city of Ventura, but it remains today as a great place for local residents and visitors alike to enjoy some of the best views in the city. Get a taste of the outdoors on your next trip to Ventura by making a stop at Serra Cross Park! Browse our Ventura vacation rentals today!