Camino Real, a Spanish term meaning "king's road," was the name of several highways in Spain and in Spain's New World dominions. In Mexico, the land route extending from the port city of Veracruz to Santa Fe, N. Mex., was known as the Camino Real. The most famous of these royal roads, however, was the one extending nearly the length of California and generally known as El Camino Real. It began at San Diego in the south, generally followed the coastline, and ended at Sonoma, north of San Francisco. Along this route Father Junípero Serra established a series of Spanish missions, eventually numbering 21, in the second half of the 18th century.
Bibliography: Riesenberg, Felix, Golden Road (1967).