A Quick Stop in Sta. Barbara, California

Our main destination was Solvang, California (per my request). However, since Sta. Barbara is on the way, my Uncle suggested we visit both places.

We left Los Angeles very early one morning in July, 2012 for an almost 2 hour drive to Sta. Barbara, in time to catch the 7am mass in Poor Clares Monastery. The sun wasn’t even up yet. As always, Uncle was the driver, I was the navigator and grandma was the relaxed passenger who would keep Uncle and I awake with her stories.

And we made it to the mass… The chapel is small but with a charming and intimate atmosphere. It had a small garden in front of the chapel with flowering plants that gave the chapel a more charming appeal.

Monastery of Poor Clares
the church interior, taken before the mass started

The church was full during the mass. Afterwards we made it to the Offerings section where we requested for our intentions to be prayed over.

We then left the chapel and went to Old Mission Sta. Barbara. This is a bigger church and is one of the twenty one California missions founded by the Spanish Franciscan friars.

Old Mission Sta. Barbara
Old Mission Sta. Barbara
Old Mission Sta. Barbara altar

There is a garden in the courtyard of the church which had palm trees and flowering plants.

the OMSB courtyard
the garden
artistic parking spaces of Old Mission Sta. Barbara
a very old olive tree


The mission offers tours but since we were pressed for time, we did not join any. We went around the church grounds and had picnic in the picnic area.

grandma and I
goofing around with grandma
The picnic area

Uncle prepared these for our surprise picnic. We had homemade sandwich, chicken macaroni salad, fruits and crackers. Burp. Burp.

our “baon”
my US travel buddies 🙂

We went briefly to the park in front of the church to take a full view of the Old Mission of Sta. Barbara. We parked in front of charming multi-million dollar homes and took some photos at the rose park in front.



relaxing by the rose park
full front view of Old Mission of Sta. Barbara

While Sta. Barbara was just a stop, I think it was a worthwhile one. I like the calmness and serenity of the place which is the exact opposite of Los Angeles and Solvang, which was another touristy town.

If given another opportunity to go to US and given more time, I would like to visit all the 21 missions in California just like my Uncle hopes to.

I  travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great  affair is to move. ~ Robert  Louis Stevenson

You may visit Old Mission of Sta. Barbara website at 


2 thoughts on “A Quick Stop in Sta. Barbara, California

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