A Guide to Visiting La Purisima Mission State Historic Park
Take a day trip to the most extensively restored mission in California! La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, located just minutes from Lompoc, is a nearly 2,000-acre park that was once a bustling Franciscan mission and home to a thriving community that included hundreds of Chumash Indians. The original mission, constructed in 1787, was destroyed in 1812 by a violent earthquake and was then relocated to the present-day site and reconstructed.
Today, visitors to the mission can enjoy over 25-miles of hiking trails, take a guided or self-tour of the historic restored buildings, enjoy a picnic, and explore the visitor center and gift shop.
Here are some great ways we recommend exploring the park while you’re here.
TAKE A TOUR
Guided tours are available for free from the visitor center. The 1.5-hour tours begin at the visitors center and guide visitors through the historic buildings, entertaining them with stories of mission life and the people who once lived there. If you prefer a self-guided tour, you can pick up a map in the visitor center for $1 and experience the tour on your own.
HIKE IN THE PARK
La Purisima’s 25+ miles of hiking and horseback riding trails earn it the distinction of being the only mission in California to offer hiking. Ranging from easy to moderate, the hiking trails offer serene views of local foliage and offer breathtaking views of the mission from atop neighboring hills. Trail maps are available at the entrance, visitors station and gift shop.
VISIT DURING LIVING HISTORY DAYS
For a more immersive experience, plan your trip around one of the missions Living History Days. Costumed docents and staff are on hand providing demonstrations of life at the mission in the 1820’s. Interactive demonstrations include blacksmithing, basket weaving, candle making, corn grinding, bread baking, weaving and more.
TAKE THE KIDS TO A JUNIOR RANGER DAY
Junior Ranger Days are another fun experience designed for kids ages 7-12. During the free, 1-hour program, kids earn badges and posters while learning all about the history and nature surrounding the mission. Sign up in person at the visitors center or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
DOWNLOAD THE AUGMENTED REALITY APP
Unlock a virtual history of the mission by downloading the FREE “Agents of Discovery” augmented reality app. The app allows users to go more in-depth into the missions’ history, search for challenges, and answer questions to test their knowledge. Download the “Agents of Discovery” app from the App Store or Google Play. Select “missions” and “La Purisima Mission State Historic Park” to get started. For more info, visit https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30340.
GETTING TO THE LA PURISIMA MISSION STATE HISTORIC PARK FROM LOMPOC
Driving to the mission from Lompoc is a leisurely 5-15 minute trip. The address is 2295 Purisima Road, Lompoc CA 93436.
To reach the Mission from the north or the south, take Highway 101 to Buellton. Take Exit 140A, for Buellton/Solvang – Highway 246 – and head west (a left turn from the northbound exit, a right turn if southbound).
Proceed west on Highway 246 for approximately 18 miles. On a slight downhill grade, you will pass the La Purisima Mission Golf Course on the right. After the golf course, take the second road, which is on the right.
Continue on Purisima Road approximately 1 mile. The Mission entrance is on the right.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
A visit to La Purisima Mission is just one of the many fun activities waiting for you during your visit to Lompoc! Check into one of our comfy hotels, and then take off for a day at the mission, plan a visit to popular Jalama Beach, go wine tasting at our over 30+ wine tasting rooms, go golfing or skydiving and much more!
Use our online itinerary builder to create your own custom trip full of things to see and do in Lompoc!