If you are in Santa Barbara then you have to include Old Mission Town into your itinerary. It is nicknamed “Queen of the Missions”, also one of the historical landmark for centuries.
Old Mission is also a retreat center with guest rooms, conference rooms, a fully equipped commercial kitchen and dining room, a beautiful church, a museum, cemetery and a small gift shop all located in the ten acres of nicely maintained landscaped gardens.
Background History of Old Mission Town
Old Mission Santa Barbara was founded in 1786 by the Spanish Franciscans. The present church was built in 1820. Now the Old Mission is a standing monument that reflects California’s rich cultural diversity. Mexican, Spanish, English, Asian, Chumash (the American Indian that lives in southern California) all played an vital role in Mission’s history.
Tours at Old Mission Santa Barbara :
There are three kind of tour options you can choose from :
1. Self Guided Tours – explore the grounds at your own pace, cost less than $10
2. Public Docent-Led Tours – Tours are led on a first come first serve basis by an experienced guide, cost $13
3. Private Docent-Led Tours – You can have your own private tour if you are traveling in a groups. Min pax is 10 and 2 weeks booking in advance. Cost $13
The Old Mission is set on a hill, park your car and do a little walking uphill. What you see at the front is a big gardens with beautiful plants and well-trimmed lawn. There is also a fountain located at the front of the museum and gift shop.
Getting There :
Mission Santa Barbara is located about 5 minutes off the 101 Freeway. There are signs from the freeway directing you to the mission. Easy to find. There is a large parking lot so you shouldn’t have trouble finding parking.
Located at 2201 Laguna Street, is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Old Mission is a must stop if you happen to be in Santa Barbara. It is a good place to check out the stunning old architecture and most importantly learn about California history. Very comfortable self guided tour and walk around this beautiful Old Mission for couple of hours.
Nearby attraction in Santa Barbara :