As a realtors, we wear many hats! The services realtors offer can be multitudinous and definitely extend beyond the writing of contracts. Clients have commented that realtors occasionally perform their tasks acting more like teachers, psychologists, information service providers and even tour directors. For those out of town customers, the tour guide hat is an important one to wear, as it is fitting and appropriate to illuminate the highlights of a community, through its arts, culture, architecture, as well as to highlight the events that have created the cities reputation. Future members of a community are typically very interested in the life, energy and history of their new chosen city and Santa Barbara is certainly steeped in history. One of the most notable allures is the Santa Barbara mission, founded by the Franciscan order December 4, 1786. The Mission grounds occupy a rise between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, and is the only mission to remain under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since its founding.
The Santa Barbara Mission is one of 21 California missions, which were Spanish settlements developed by King Charles III, built between 1769 and 1823. The Spanish had previously claimed this land 200 years prior, however did not start settling it until they heard of the plans by other powers wanting to settle the area. The missions were a way of establishing claim to the area. They also insured a contiguous trade route along the coast.
A great adventure would be to follow the mission trail from north to south. Below is a detailed list starting with the most northern mission continuing on to the most southern. How long do you think it would take to visit all 21 missions?
- Mission San Francisco Solano, located in the wine country of Sonoma. It was the last of the 21 missions to be built.
- San Rafael Arcángel, currently used for special events and is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese.
- Mission Dolores in San Francisco, the most authentic of all the 21 missions. Founded by Father Junipero Serra; it is the oldest standing building in the city of San Francisco and survived the 1906 Earthquake.
- Mission San Jose, located in Fremont. Mission San Jose was named after the husband of Mary, Saint Joseph.
- Mission Santa Clara, built from the traditional quadrangle layout, enclosed in a four sided structure. Make sure to look for the four bells, one of which was donated by King Charles IV of Spain.
- Mission Santa Cruz, here you will see an authentic adobe.
- San Juan Batista, used as the setting in Alfred Hitchcock’s production of Vertigo.
- Mission San Carlos Borremeo de Carmelo, one of the most charming missions with its original artifacts and beautiful artwork.
- Mission Soledad, again beautiful works of art.
- San Antonio de Padua, known for music, as seen from the music notations on the walls of their museum.
- Mission San Miguel, damaged from the 2003 earthquake, so most of the mission is closed.
- Mission San Luis Obispo, still has the central church and has been active for 60 years.
- La Purisima, Solvang, rebuilt in 1942, has been restored; not currently active.
- Santa Ines, notice the traditional quadrangle housing area and the wonderful well preserved grounds.
- Mission Santa Barbara, which has an excellent museum and beautiful Moorish fountain located at the front of the church.
- San Buenaventura, has been nicely restored with small museum.
- San Fernando Rey, is a big church and don’t miss the Convento, or long house, the museum and spectacular church.
- Mission of San Gabriel, looks like a beautiful fortress with a very impressive church.
- Mission San Juan Capistrano, the most visited mission and contains the original Serra Chapel and lovely gardens.
- San Luis Rey & San Antonio de Pala Asistencia, known as king of the missions.
- San Diego de Alcala, original site of the first mission and presidio in California.