Old Mission Santa Barbara
Built in a commanding position on a hill overlooking the valley area, the Spanish mission is a long-standing Santa Barbara favorite, known for its rolling lawns and impressive rose garden, both open to the public year-round. Learn about brutal early colonization efforts on a tour, wander the well-kept grounds, and see the beautiful church nave. Depending on the day, it's possible to catch a performance by the longest-running choral singing group in California.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Mission Santa Barbara is a must-visit for travelers interested in history and architecture.
The Old Mission's extensive gift store, Serra Shop, sells all sorts of books, jewelry, and religious paraphernalia.
Most of the Old Mission is accessible by wheelchair, and ADA restrooms are available.
How to Get There
The Old Mission is situated north of downtown Santa Barbara, about a 5- to 10-minute drive into town or 15 minutes by car to the Santa Barbara Airport. The nearest bus stop is at the corner of State and Pueblo streets, about a 15-minute walk away. It’s easiest to visit the mission by car or as part of a guided tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
Mission Santa Barbara is open daily from 9am to 5pm, with the last entry at 4:15pm. Hour-long docent-led tours are held weekdays at 11am, Saturdays at 10:30am, and Sundays at 12:30pm. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Mission Museum
One of the most interesting parts of the Old Mission is its on-site museum, full of art and artifacts. Highlights include a re-creation of an old-fashioned kitchen, a priest’s room (complete with an antique chess set), trade rooms featuring traditional weaving and blacksmithing tools, and the Chumash Room, dedicated to Native American artifacts.
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