Cultural history of San Francisco often focuses on the ’60s, but Mission Dolores, the city’s oldest standing building, is a gentle but firm reminder of San Francisco’s long and fascinating history. Built in 1776, the mission has a simple exterior but a more opulent space for quiet prayer inside; a visit will feel like stepping into tiny old European churches, but with a distinctly California sensibility. While this is definitely a tourist destination, it’s interesting to note that Mission Dolores is still an active parish of the Catholic church, with an elementary school and plenty of opportunities for worship if you’re so inclined.

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