Mission Santa Clara de Asis is on the Santa Clara University campus, off the US 101 De La Cruz exit to 500 El Camino Real. It was founded in 1777, the eighth of 21 missions built in California in the 1700s. It has the distinction of being the first mission named for a woman, Saint Clare of Assisi, the founder of the Poor Clares order. Established to help protect early settlers in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is the only mission associated with a university.
The building is a replica of the third mission, which was built in 1825. Artifacts on display include three bells given to the mission by the king of Spain. The original mission garden is intact; the months of peak bloom are April and May. Guided tours are available by appointment.