There’s no hyperbole in calling this the “Queen of Missions,” and it vies with the Courthouse for being the heart of Santa Barbara. This exquisite pink sandstone hilltop complex bears no resemblance to the original, simple adobe mission that opened in 1786 (built for converting the Chumash). It’s the only California mission that’s remained in continuous operation by Franciscans friars, with some time off for rebuilding—ever more ambitiously—following earthquakes. You can stroll the grounds, including the rose garden, visit the museum and the cemetery, and spend time in the magnificent church, which is actively in use.
Attractions & Landmarks