Mission Santa Barbara

Mission Santa Barbara is one of the most significant sites in Santa Barbara, California, with a rich history extending back over two centuries. The Spanish Franciscans constructed Mission Santa Barbara in 1786, and it is renowned as the 'Queen of the Missions' due to its remarkable size and excellent architecture.

Mission Santa Barbara has played a significant role in California's cultural history, functioning as a center of study, art, and music. It is one of only two California missions that has never been abandoned or demolished, and it is still in use today. The mission also has a long history of education, being California's first college and Santa Barbara's first library.

As part of his tour of the United States in 1987, Pope John Paul II stopped by the Santa Barbara Mission. He gave a speech to the thousands of people who had assembled at the mission and performed Mass in the old church.

In 1951, on her trip to California, Princess Takamatsu stopped by the Santa Barbara Mission. Franciscan friars reportedly gave her a personal tour of the mission, where she was profoundly moved by its beauty and rich history.

Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan, as well as First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Nancy Reagan, have all paid visits to Mission Santa Barbara over the years.

Hollywood superstars like Cary Grant, John Wayne, and Jennifer Aniston have all been reported to have visited Mission Santa Barbara at some point in their careers.

Mission Santa Barbara is still an operational church and a popular site for Catholic pilgrims and visitors seeking spiritual renewal. The mission's church houses a wonderful collection of religious artwork, including a gorgeous statue of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Things to do in Mission Santa Barbara

Take a tour: There are many different types of guided tours available at the mission, each focusing on a different aspect of the mission's cultural and spiritual value as well as its history and architecture. Experts offer tours of this California icon, which are a fantastic way to learn more about it.

Visit the Church: the chapel that serves as the centerpiece of the mission and is a prime example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style. Attending worship services is optional; sightseers can also see the church's stunning architecture and artwork.

Explore the Gardens: Go for a stroll through the mission's gorgeous gardens, which feature a plethora of plants and flowers as well as twisting walks and fountains. The grounds are a wonderful spot to unwind and take in the tranquility of the mission.

Visit the Museum: The mission's museum is worth a look, with displays highlighting the area's cultural past and artifacts from the mission itself. Visitors to the mission can learn about both the native Chumash people and the Franciscan friars who served them.

Attend cultural events: Cultural events, such as concerts, art exhibits, and Native American rites, are held frequently at Mission Santa Barbara. These gatherings showcase California's cultural legacy to tourists in stunning, historically significant locations.

Take pictures: With its spectacular architecture, beautiful gardens, and historic artifacts, Mission Santa Barbara is a hotspot for photographers.

.......read more .......read more
  • imageDuration Required
    3 hours

Address of Mission Santa Barbara

2201 Laguna St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105-3611

Opening & Closing time of Old Mission Santa Barbara

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

Explore More