La Purísima Mission State Historic Park is a California state park that is approximately an hour away from Santa Barbara by car. It is home to La Purísima Mission, the most completely restored Spanish mission in California. Visitors can explore buildings such as the church, blacksmith shop, and living quarters, as well as the mission gardens, which represent what life would have been like in the mission during the 1820s. In addition to its visitor center which features fascinating displays and artifacts, the park also contains 25 miles of hiking trails which are perfect for wildlife viewing.
Things to Do
- Head to the visitor center, where you can see numerous exhibits about the history of the mission, as well as informative films.
- Explore the 5-acre garden, which contains native plants that would have been found in the mission garden, as well as animals like longhorn cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and burros that are kept in a corral.
- Go for a family hike on the nature trails and look for wildlife - native species that live in the area include deer, rabbits, bobcats, and coyotes.
La Purísima Mission State Historic Park Insider Tips
- Attend one of the park's special living history events, when docents dress in traditional costumes and demonstrate traditional activities such as tortilla making, candle making, spinning, weaving, pottery, and blacksmithing.
- Take a free guided tour of the mission to learn all about the mission's fascinating history from a knowledgeable docent.
- Bring along some food and drinks and enjoy a family picnic surrounded by the beautiful scenery in one of its picnic areas.