The Santa Barbara Mission was established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786 and was the 10th of 21 California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. 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.
Mission Santa Barbara is California Historical Landmark No. 309. According to the California State Parks Office of Historic Preservation website: Portions of five units of its extensive waterworks, built by Indian labor and preserved in this part, are a filter house, Spanish gristmill, sections of aqueducts, and two reservoirs, the larger of which, built in 1806, is used today as part of the city water system. The fountain and lavadero are nearby, in front of the mission, and a dam built in 1807 is located in the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, one and one-half miles up Mission Canyon. Only ruins remain of the mission's pottery kiln, guard house, and tanning vats.
The Mission, located at 2201 Laguna Street, is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Admission as of May 2016 is $8 for adults (18-64) $6 for seniors (65+) and active military (with ID) and $3 youth ages 5-17. Parking is free. There's also a docent guided tour Thursday and Friday at 11:00am; Saturday at 10:30am. Tour admission is $12 adults, $10 seniors, active military and $7 for youth. Roughly 60 minutes. Visit www.santabarbaramission.org or call 805.682.4713 to learn more.