La Purisima Mission State Historic Park is a hidden gem and a must see for anyone interested in the history of early California. It's a delightful day trip, easy to combine with wine tasting or a round of golf in the Santa Ynez valley later in the day. No longer a working Catholic parish church (unlike Missions Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez) La Purisima is the most complete mission restoration project in California. You can feel the ghostly presence of the hundreds who lived at the Mission as you linger in the cool adobe of the padres' quarters and the refectory, sense the workers in the blacksmith's shop, the pottery shop and saddlery, the weaving room and mission office. Imagine how a guest might have felt riding in from the coast or other missions. You can almost smell the bread baking in the beehive ovens behind the main structure, or hear the children laughing in the Chumash Indian village or singing in the chapel. The gardens of the mission were designed to be historically accurate (to the 1820s) and have been featured on Huell Howser's California Gold. Over one hundred volunteers and docents (Prelado de los Tesoros) create Living History Days, special events and lead daily guided tours.
La Purisma Mission is in Lompoc, a pretty 50 minute drive from Santa Barbara, making it an ideal day trip and worth including in your Santa Barbara vacation. If we can help you with accommodation in a Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast, please give us a call, we'd love to hear from you.
Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper
Bath Street Inn