Old Mission Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara

A Spanish mission founded in 1786, Old Mission Santa Barbara provides an insight into the colonization of southern California. Franciscan friars created the mission so they could convert the indigenous Chumash tribe to Catholicism. Embark on self-guided tour through the sacred garden, historical cemetery, church, and museum, or take one of the docent-led tours. Don't miss the fountain, aqueduct, and lavandaria in the Mission's front yard, all original fixtures built by the Chumash. The museum is home to a Chumash prayer board, the first written Chumash ever attempted. Our Santa Barbara day trip planner makes visiting Old Mission Santa Barbara and other Santa Barbara attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Old Mission Santa Barbara Reviews
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  • Take a Hop on Hop off Bus tour, and then do a self guided tour spending quite some time leisurely touring the Mission.  more »
  • Beautiful place with lots of history. To those who are interested in the history they will enjoy. Picturesque you look at. My kids enjoyed it. Go!
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  • Beautiful grounds and garden in a great neighborhood. The staff is very knowledgeable. The Mission itself is well maintained. I recommend driving there and then driving around the adjacent neighborhoo...  more »
Google
  • Great place to visit! Rich in history and really interesting. If you visit, get there early and take the guided tour, there's so much to learn and so many details that you would miss if you tour it by yourself. Me and my family enjoyed it a lot, and after the visit we went to Presidio and ended the day walking through Downtown Santa Barbara.
  • neat place. I was scared because of the dark sky, but everything turned out. The smoke overtook the sky because of the burning forests and it bit up the trip. the types of terrain are amazing. All liked it
  • I've been to many Missions and each has its own unique flavor. There are both similarities and differences. This Mission has a Mausoleum that is being used and it is at the center of the Mission. I went on a self-guided tour using a handy pamphlet. I really liked the gigantic beautiful tree and the different settings that depicted scenes from the original home settings. Even the furniture looked like it was from the late 1700s. This Mission is very peaceful and extra special because the Franciscan Friars live right there and the Franciscan seminarians will soon take residency along side the brothers and priests. The operating hours are extended during the summer up until Labor Day. You can begin your visit at 5:15 p.m. but you'll have to complete your self-guided tour by 6:00p.m. when you will be gently asked to leave. I would suggest that you give yourself about an hour to complete the tour leisurely and even stop in the chapel to pray.
  • Such an awesome space. Great for anything outdoors, and apparently open containers are allowed there for those looking to drink some beer and wine at the park.
  • Amazingly beautiful place! Spent hours here, stunning rose garden, I didn't want to leave!

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Where to stay in Santa Barbara

Blessed with a mild climate and lush location, Santa Barbara remains a playground for the rich and famous, so it's no surprise that accommodations can be extremely expensive here. The priciest hotels are near the water, so before you make your reservations, decide if staying beachside fits into your budget. You can find more affordable rooms at any one of the area's small motels, located just blocks from the beaches. These offer secure parking, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi.
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