Santa Barbara Mission Exterior Walk


Thank you for purchasing this tour as it supports the Franciscans’ continued care of the Mission grounds. Mission Santa Barbara is a National Historic Landmark. Walk through history with a narrative overview that will enhance your experience as you explore its exterior grounds. This virtual tour is also available in:

Visit the Old Mission Santa Barbara website for their online Gift Store, current hours, history, and tickets for tours of the Museum, Historic Cemetery and the Sacred Garden.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is OurCoffee_sm.jpg Visitor Tip: If you’re lucky you’ll see Good Coffee, a favorite stop at the Mission. Sip expresso and try the avocado toast while enjoying picture-perfect views.

Streaming Video - narrated slide show $6.99
ebook - text and images throughout from Amazon. $4.95
Order on

An Online Tour Guide:

  • to play and pause as you wish
  • providing a day or two of entertainment for less than $5
  • including insider tips, maps and directions
  • fascinating information throughout your route
  • and tons of photos because 'a picture is worth 1000 words'
Like having a friend show you around!

Santa Barbara Mission Exterior Walk

Tour Highlights

Mission Santa Barbara is one of the most photographed sites in the United States, but few know its secrets. Walk through history with an experienced guide to learn some surprising information about the Queen of the Missions. This magnificent structure is not the first chapel to be built on this site. There were two preliminary chapels prior to an adobe structure destroyed by earthquake in 1812.

Find out how the city of Santa Barbara received its name and what technology brought by the Spanish changed California’s landscape. This tour will enhance your experience as you stroll the exterior grounds of Old Mission Santa Barbara. The Franciscans who have occupied this site since 1786 manage the 15 most important acres in Santa Barbara.

Join us on a walking tour as we share the history and lore of this lovely Mission.

  • Welcome to Old Mission Santa Barbara
  • Mission Chapel.
  • How the Missions Changed California

Cover Photo: Carol M Highsmith 1946. Library of Congress

NOTE: This is the personal project of tour author Lisa Burns and is not affiliated with Mission Santa Barbara’s services or tour offerings. Out of her own kindness, she is donating a portion of her profit to the Mission. Tours of the Mission’s interior grounds are available from Mission Santa Barbara for a separate purchase.

Explore with your expert personal guide, available 24/7 on your schedule!

People tell us all the time that our tours make travel easier and much more interesting. So download this Santa Barbara Mission outside self-guided sightseeing tour to your mobile device and walk with us through the lawns and gardens, and learn the storied past of this, the most famous Mission in California!

Additional information





Lisa Knox Burns

Lisa Knox Burns is a long-time docent at the Old Mission with a professional background in city planning. On the walk around the grounds of the Old Mission you will see historical sites through her eyes, providing information that is both educational and entertaining.

Lisa Knox Burns es una docente desde hace mucho tiempo en la antigua Misión, con antecedentes profesionales en la planeación de la ciudad. Éste es un proyecto personal de Lisa y, amablemente, ella ha donado una porción de sus utilidades a la Misión. En el paseo alrededor de la Antigua Misión, podrás ver sitios históricos a través de sus ojos, proporcionando información que es tanto educativa como entretenida.

Jessica Shea, EF International Language Schools Inc. “Thank you for the enthusiastic, fun and informative tour. We loved it!” From our Students: “Thank you Lisa …” …for this amazing experience. We visited a beautiful place while learning English. Nina …for your amazing visit to the Old Mission, I really appreciated that. Very interesting tour. Katlyne …for guiding us in the Old Mission. I really enjoyed and learned Santa Barbara history. Yumika …for guiding us! We had great time! I’ll go to Mission Santa Barbara again! Kaidri …for the time you spent with us and to have been really kind with us. Andrew Thank you Lisa I learned a lot! Ian
This preview is just the introductory chapter. Purchase a full tour to get a day or two of entertainment as you explore with our experts at your own pace.

Tours4Mobile Reviews

"Exciting, a whole new concept"
Around The World Travel Radio

"Even though I am a local, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting and learning more about the history of the landmarks. The author's interest in the area comes through in his engaging style of writing. Being able to complete the tour at my own pace made it even
more enjoyable."
Flora Savitzky (Researcher)

"When the conference ended, I stayed in town on my own and used T4M's self-guided tour to decide which things in town I wanted to visit and what to see/do there. The guide was right every step of the way. Bottom line, this guide helped me make the most of my time in town."
Ed Wetschler, SATW & Editor of Tripitini