Spanish Missions Tour


Drive Dates: Thursday and Saturday, April 4 & 6, 2019

Distance: 140 miles (round trip)

Estimated Total Time of Tour:  5 hours

The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of 21 religious outposts or missions established between 1769 and 1833 in today's U.S. State of California. Founded by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order to evangelize the Native Americans, the missions led to the creation of the New Spain province of Alta California and were part of the expansion of the Spanish Empire into the most northern and western parts of Spanish North America.

The surviving mission buildings are the state's oldest structures and its most-visited historic monuments. They have become a symbol of California, appearing in many movies and television shows, and are an inspiration for Mission Revival architecture. The oldest cities of California formed around or near Spanish missions, including the four largest: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. We will visit and learn from the Missions La Purisima and Santa Inez.

Our tour drive will launch from the tour staging area and proceed along U.S. Highway 101 north-bound along the rugged shoreline of California’s central coast. We will drive through the town of Lompoc, known as “the Valley of the Flowers” and visit La Purísima Concepcion Mission. We’ll then head inland, climbing high into the Santa Ynez Mountains. Soon reaching the rolling vineyards and small towns of the Santa Ynez Valley. We’ll stop at the Santa Inés Mission before heading to Buellton and enjoying lunch at Pea Soup Andersen’s, an iconic restaurant and landmark.

7:50 AM

Meet Time

8:30 – 10:00 AM

Drive to La Purisima Mission

10:00 – 10:45 AM

Self-Guided Mission Tour

10:45 AM

Drive to Santa Inés Mission

11:10 – 11:45 AM

Self-Guided Mission Tour

11:45 AM

Drive to Pea Soup Andersen’s

12:05 – 1:15 PM

Lunch at Pea Soup Andersen’s

1:15 PM

Return drive back to Hilton Santa Barbara

The Tour officially ends after lunch.  For those who wish to return to the Hilton together, the tour leaders will depart for the hotel shortly after lunch.  

If you decide to continue exploring on your own, you may want to visit Mission Santa Barbara as you make your way back towards the hotel. Mission Santa Barbara was the tenth of 21 California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. It’s commanding position and graceful lines reinforce her title, “Queen of the Missions”.  More information about this beautiful mission, visit

La Purisima Mission site:

Mission Santa Ines site:


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