- July 25, 1797
- Mission San Miguel
- Parish Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey, and post-mission period Franciscan novitiate since 1928-29).
- San Miguel Arcángel was founded on July 25, 1797. This mission’s historic church (completed in 1818) has rich vibrantly painted fresco murals. A picturesque colonnade leads to the church. San Miguel’s spacious grounds with ancient gate ways and dilapidated adobe walls make this one of the most authentic-looking of the California missions.
775 Mission St
San Miguel, CA 93451
- 805-467-3256 (Mission gift shop and museum)
- 805-467-2131 (Parish)
- Adults: $3.00
- Children (5+): $2.00
A self-guided tour starts at the gift shop. Guided group tours can be scheduled. Call the mission gift shop (805-467-3256) to make a reservation.
- 9:00 a.m.
- 5:00 p.m. (Vigil Mass)
- 7:00 a.m.
- 11:00 a.m.
- 6:00 p.m. (Español)
Monday - Friday:
- 8:00 a.m.
Weddings and Other Special Services
San Miguel encourages weddings at the mission church but prefers to discuss requirements and details personally with interested couples. Call the Parish Office (Monday – Friday) at 805-467-2131
The San Miguel Parish Hall is a new facility adjacent to Old Mission San Miguel, located at 795 SLO Monterey Road. It is available for “wedding receptions, birthdays, anniversaries, dinners, club meetings, or charity fundraisers.”
An Annual Fiesta is held in the fall of each year.
This authentic (and authentic-looking mission), with its picturesque arcade, weathered adobe walls, ancient gateways, and extensive grounds is one of the jewels of the California mission chain.
The picturesque colonnade that leads to the church contains 12 arches of different size and different shapes, unique among the California missions
The San Miguel Church, which has been carefully restored after a severe earthquake in 2003, is rich in vibrantly painted fresco murals. An all-seeing Eye-of-God tops the altar reredos.
The expansive cemetery on the east side of the church is one of the largest remaining original mission-era campo santo. Over 2,000 Indians were buried here.
San Miguel has collected an awesome number of mission-era and post mission-era artifacts, on display in the museum and on the grounds of the mission. One of the most interesting artifacts which has been preserved is part of a tree trunk which has an embedded cross. Crosses were carved into trees along “The King Highway” to signal the approach of a mission.
A drive around the full perimeter of the adobe-walled mission will give you a good sense of the scale of the average California mission complexes, many of which are now much reduced in size.
Tips for Visitors
Be sure to visit this special place. The “Mission on the Highway” is easily reached from US 101. Allow at several hours to fully explore this mission.
Enjoy the number and variety of the “bell towers” at Mission San Miguel but be aware of the history. The fact is that the mission never had a traditional bell tower. In the mission era bells were hung from a wooden beam in one of the archways. The bell which currently hangs there was cast in Mexico City in 1800. The large Bell Tower located inside the mission cemetery was designed and built in the mid-1930s.
The worn adobe walls, ancient gateways, and simple adobe structures of the mission complex make this one of the most authentic looking missions in the chain.
Other Historic Sites
A visit to both Mission San Miguel and Mission San Antonio de Padua will give visitors an exposure to two of the more remote, most scenic and best preserved of the California missions.