Mission Santa BarbaraCurrently Open
Renowned as the ‘crown jewel’ of the California Missions, this site has been painstakingly preserved.
Mission Santa Barbara, or Santa Barbara Mission, is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order in the vicinity of present-day Santa Barbara, California. The grounds of the current mission are located on the crest between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. The mission was consecrated by founding father Padre FerminLasuen on December 4, 1786, the feast day of Saint Barbara, as the tenth mission for the religious conversion of the local Chumash—Barbareno tribe of Native American people residing in the area.
The sole mission to have remained under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars right since its establishment, Mission Santa Barbara is, today, a parish church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Legend has it that Saint Barbara was a girl who was beheaded by her father for following the Christian Faith. The early missionaries built three different chapels during the first few years but it was only in reparation of the damage caused by the destructive Santa Barbara Earthquake in 1812 that the current construction was established, dedicated in 1820. The interiors of the church have remained more or less the same ever since.
The colonial art collection housed here is mostly from the baroque or neoclassical eras, a culturally rich and varied assortment of artefacts. Most of the pieces were imported from Mexico and South America, some notable exceptions including the three stone statues in the museum depicting Saint Barbara, along with the virtues of faith and charitycarved by a mission Indian in 3D images. Interestingly, these remain the only existing large sculptures done by indigenous California Indians.
Mission Santa Barbara is rightfully called the ‘Crown Jewel’ of California for its history and architecture. Though a church, the Mission Santa Barbara ticket price has to be paid to enter the premises. Tickets for Mission Santa Barbara can be bought on spot or are even available online. When you are about to buy tickets for Mission Santa Barbara club them together with Mission Santa Barbara tickets for tours so you get the most of your money.
Mission Santa Barbara Travel Tips
- The above mentioned timings are those for daily self-guided tours.
- Docent tours for schools and other groups can be arranged by appointment.
- If you don’t know too much about the mission system in California, it’d be a good idea to read up on it a little before visiting.
- Be sure and visit the book store on the way out.
- If possible, buy an item or two to support the ongoing upkeep of this state treasure.
- To get to the Mission: From Los Angeles Airport (LAX)- Approximate distance- 100 miles. Take US405 North to US101 West (about 20 miles). Remain on US101 into Santa Barbara (about 80 miles). Exit on Mission Street, turn to the North (right) Continue up Mission Street until it ends at Laguna St. (about 1 mile) Turn left on Laguna. The Mission is straight ahead 2 blocks.
- From points north of Santa Barbara (including SB Airport): Take US101 South towards downtown Santa Barbara Exit on Mission Street, turn to the North (Left).
- Continue up Mission Street until it ends at Laguna St. (about 1 mile) Turn left on Laguna. The Mission is straight ahead 2 blocks.
How to Reach Mission Santa Barbara
- The Line 22 bus offers public transportation to Santa Barbara's attractions, including daily service to the Mission.
- Garrett’s Old Fashion Restaurant
- El Encanto Hotel
- Christine Dahl Pastries
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77.24% of people who visit Santa Barbara include Mission Santa Barbara in their plan
2 PM - 3 PM
62.37% of people start their Mission Santa Barbara visit around 2 PM - 3 PM
People usually take around 1 Hr to see Mission Santa Barbara
90.45% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Mission Santa Barbara