Mission Santa Barbara

Mission Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara California is a landmark that is historic to Santa Barbara and it's roots. It's pretty easy to get to and for directions and a map click here. According to Santabarbaramission.org:

"The Santa Barbara Mission was established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786 and was the tenth of twenty-one California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans.

More than 200 years later, the Mission continues to be the chief cultural and historic landmark in the city of Santa Barbara. Home to a community of Franciscan friars, the Mission also has a retreat center with guest rooms, conference rooms, a fully equipped commercial kitchen and dining room, a beautiful church with a large and active parish, a museum and gift shop, a cemetery and mausoleum, and ten acres of beautifully landscaped gardens.

The Mission's commanding position and grand proportions, graceful lines and soft, blending colors all reinforce her title, "Queen of the Missions.""

There is a five dollar entrance fee for a tour of the mission which is a modest price to pay for things these days. It's not a bad tour. There's a lot of history and I just keep wondering "if these walls could talk". Many people lived in this mission and many people died here as well. The have a courtyard where over 4000 people were laid to rest.

You follow a path that goes through the mission and has various stops and information boards. You see how the people back then lived, the housing, the bedrooms, and other preserved artifacts. It's full of history of the mission and the people who lived there. The highlight of the tour for me was the Chapel.It's not very big but it's still grand. It kind of felt like being in the movie "The Da Vinci Code". I felt like there was a hidden passage or some sacred hidden treasure left from ancient times. The post picture is from the inside of the chapel.

The photographs you will be taking are of the architecture and some of the gnarly trees that exist in the courtyard. Being that most of the tour takes place indoors it's wise to bring a tripod. A safe bet in terms of lens choice would be a wide to standard zoom. No reason for a telephoto here.

The tour takes about 30 minutes to walk through depending how much time you want to spend. I recommend if you stop to visit Santa Barbara it's a good stop to learn about the history of the area and how it came to be.


Mission Santa Barbara is very historic to California and the central coast. There is also many photographic opportunities like this photo.