The Santa Barbara Mission is one of the area’s most historically significant and best-preserved sights. Be sure to stop by to learn about its rich history, interwoven with the history of the state of California, and its native people.

For a little introduction, here is our brief guide on where the Santa Barbara Mission came from, and what it’s become.

The Mission’s Roots

The Mission Santa Barbara became the tenth California mission founded by the Spanish Franciscans in 1786. Padre Junipero Serra founded the first nine, and had planned to build this one in 1782, but was unable to, and soon passed away. His successor Padre Fermin Francisco raised the cross and put up the first of this location’s many historic buildings.

The Buildings

The original buildings of the Santa Barbara Mission were three simple adobe churches, the latest of which was destroyed in an earthquake. The Mission’s present church was finished in 1820, and its present friary residence was worked on from then through 1870.

What Was It All About

Spanish Franciscans originally built the Mission to spread Christianity among the local Chumash people. After Spain lost California to Mexico, convert rates dropped rapidly. Since then, the grounds have been used for schools, and cultural gatherings of all kinds.

Today, the Santa Barbara Mission is one of the area’s most popular tourist attractions, mostly for its colonial art collection, and neoclassical architecture. You can find baroque works from Mexico and south America here, as well as architectural influences from Mexico and Rome.

How To Get There

The Mission Santa Barbara is an easy, three-mile trip from Hotel Milo. It takes about ten minutes in a car, and could be a nice, hour-long walk.

Discover More of Santa Barbara

Planning a getaway with the family to Santa Barbara? Explore America’s Riviera with Hotel Milo, and get more local recommendations on our Santa Barbara blog.