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“Beautiful mission”

Mission San Luis Rey
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Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Mission San Luis Rey
Ranked #3 of 64 things to do in Oceanside
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Founded in 1798, Old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, known as the "King of the Missions," is a National Historic Landmark. The largest of all the 21 California missions, it is home to a community of Franciscan Friars and is open daily to the public in the Franciscan tradition of heritage and hospitality. Facilities include a Retreat Center with day and overnight programs for spiritual renewal, multi-function meeting spaces, a Cemetery open to all people, Mission Gift Shop, Historic Church and interpretive Museum.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Bakersfield, California
Level Contributor
169 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Beautiful mission”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Beautifully restored mission which still conducts services. Lovely grounds, and we enjoyed the museum. Beautiful drawing on the walls date back two hundred years. Self guided tours with clean bathrooms outside. The gift shop is a treasure in itself. Great way to spend a couple hours when in the area.

Visited October 2013
Thank nancypants911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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412 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jasper, Indiana
Level Contributor
83 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Worth a visit, even if only a lopsided history”
Reviewed October 16, 2013 via mobile

Free parking and most of the public spaces are free to wander. Beautifully restored buildings, peaceful grounds. Only cost is the museum ($5/adult), but worth the price. Many artifacts from the period. Some reproductions, but clearly marked as such. Nice gift shop. Friendly & helpful staff. Good history lesson, though I thought it a one-sided version. Too much lamenting Spain's loss of the area to Mexico when Spain had forced its own culture & religion on the indigenous people of the area themselves. And then the U.S. arrived late to the party & wanted California for itself! Oy! No wonder Native Americans are still ticked,

Thank indigo100966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glendale, AZ
Level Contributor
51 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Peaceful and beautiful.”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

This is the third Californian mission I have visited. I like that the mission is still an active parish, in fact a funeral was in progress when we arrived. The museum could be laid out a little better but I enjoyed many of the exhibits. Much of the grounds seem to be under construction or excavation. The view of the surrounding areas is lovely, and the foregrounds are very park-like. I wish we had been allowed to walk in the gardens as we had in the other missions we have visited, but that did not detract from our enjoyment of the peace and beauty of the mission.

Visited September 2013
Thank Arlene G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
58 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Very Beautiful!”
Reviewed September 26, 2013

This was the first California Mission that I have visited. The area is very large and well maintained. The chapel/church was amazing and very peaceful. We watched the video, which was very informative. Spent a lot of time in the cemetery, I think we spend about an hour and a half looking at everything. The museum portion was small. The women in the church was very friendly and full of information.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank FluteGirl128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
151 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“I'd like to rate it higher, but could not!”
Reviewed September 25, 2013 via mobile

Because I've toured other missions, that were presented much better, this is the highest rating I can offer. In comparison, the gardens were not very well kept and the museum lacked details that could have made the visit more interesting. Parts were closed to tours since the mission recently added several educational classes. I would not make a special trip, but it's worth viewing if you are already in the area.

Visited September 2013
Thank JoAnn70820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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