Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Luis Obispo

Wander the buildings and gardens of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and take a step back into California's history. Built in 1772 by Father Junípero Serra, the mission still serves the community to this day. Notice both the belfry and vestibule design styles, a combination that is not found in any of the other California missions. Explore the grounds and the church on your own, or prearrange a docent-led tour. Stop by the museum for a brief history of the mission. If you would like to attend a service, check the website for worship times. Use our San Luis Obispo driving holiday planner to visit Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa on your trip to San Luis Obispo, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Reviews
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  • This very nice well kept Catholic Church is very historic and worth a visit. The grounds are nice too.  more »
  • I have been here for memorials, concerts, wedding, and mass. Classic interior of a mission church. Intimate worship area in two wings. Vintage 1772. Nice venue for choral music.  more »
  • Have went to many functions here and it is a beautiful mission. Definitely a place to see if you are in San Luis Obispo. The mission is the hub of this charming town  more »
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  • Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the 5th of 21 missions along the Camino Real, was established by Father Junipero Serra in 1772. As food sources became a real issue for existing missions, Father Serra thought that this area, known as the 'Valley of the Bears' by Spanish explorers, could provide a very reliable meat source for all. The Mission Church was completed in 1793. By 1800, other adobe structures including housing, a granary and a weaving room were added. Mission records show that by 1804, 832 Chumash neophytes lived at the church. In its early years, Mission San Luis Obispo was attacked several times by local native tribes. Each time the Mission's roof, made from branches and tule, was burned. Although first used at Mission San Antonio de Padua, the large scale use of the now-famous red clay roof tiles occurred here. During the 1880's, Mission San Obispo was modernized to reflect a 'New England' church. Wooden sliding and wooden floors were used to cover the original adobe structure. But by 1933, a many year's long restoration project began to return the Mission to its original form. The steeple was removed and a bell tower was rebuilt. Today it continues to serve as a local parish, with the Mission becoming a focal point of downtown San Luis Obispo. This is a gorgeous mission, well worth a dedicated visit if traveling along the Camino Real.
  • I love this church and go every chance I get. Although I am forbidden to judge; The message always feels powerful, useful and authentic. I am so blessed to be near this beautiful historic mission that continues to effectively serve God and the community.
  • Exited the rear of the area dated museum and with curious cautiousness made my way up the concrete stairs through a steel jail type door slightly ajar and inviting. The narrow low short passage way ends in the bell tower. A real treat to see and hear with the required headphones
  • 😀It was a great experience visiting Mission Luis Obispo!😉So creative designs and things to see!🤗I really recommend it.😊😀 -Keren Muñoz
  • Tons of history to read about. The visit was awesome, and the church is still an active church for mass, weddings, baptisms ect according to the mission staff. Go here and you won't be disappointed. Great for families, and or anyone.

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