Old Mission Santa Barbara

#4 in Best Things To Do in Santa Barbara
Old Mission Santa Barbara picture
Jay Sinclair/Santa Barbara Conference and Visitors Bureau & Film Commission

Key Info

2201 Laguna Street

Price & Hours

$9 for adults; $4 for kids 5-17; free for kids 4 and younger
9 a.m.-4:15 or 5:15 p.m. daily


Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

In the northwest part of town just four blocks from State Street, the Santa Barbara Mission offers visitors a glimpse at the city's early origins. 

Founded in 1786, this Californian mission was Spain's 10th attempt to colonize the region and convert the native inhabitants to Roman Catholicism. Still a functioning house of worship, the Santa Barbara Mission boasts a museum filled with colonial artifacts and early photographs of the area. 

Also known as the Queen of Missions, the mission grounds also feature La Huerta, a garden that showcases Spain's agricultural influence on the California landscape, housing plants dating back to when the mission was established. 

Travelers say the mission is a must-see for history buffs. "I was surprised how much I liked this spot. This mission is set on a hill so it has a a beautiful view sloping down Santa Barbara toward the coast. The building and gardens are lovely, and the folks who work there are very friendly," according to one TripAdvisor user.  

The mission is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m. daily depending on the season. Admission costs $9 for adults, $4 for kids 5-17 and free for kids 4 and younger. Or you could pay $9 for adult admission and a docent-led tour ($4 for children): those are offered on Thursdays and Fridays at 11 a.m., and on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit the official website.

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Juan Carlos!/Flickr
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