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Carmel CA Travel Blog

The Insiders View Blog - Carmel Mission Inn’s blog page where we hope you will find information that will enhance your overall experience in Carmel California.

Carmel Mission

Kentyn Reynolds - Sunday, June 12, 2011
Mission San Carlos Borremeo del Rio Carmelo (Carmel Mission)

The Basilica of Mission San Carlos Borremeo del Rio Carmelo (Carmel Mission) was founded by Fr. Junipero Serra in 1770, making it the second of the 21 California missions. Though the Carmel Mission was founded in Monterey, it was quickly decided that Carmel-by-the-Sea was a more appropriate location for its purpose. The fledgling establishment was moved to the Rio Road site in 1771 and the Carmel Mission Basilica was dedicated in 1797. Fr. Serra was buried within its grounds.

The Mission

Carmel Mission is considered the most authentically restored Franciscan mission, and despite its many events and services, the Mission's courtyard and gardens are peaceful places to meditate or rest. Self-guided and docent-led tours are available; see the Carmel Mission website for more information. Admission to the grounds and mission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $1 for children under 17. All funds go to mission restoration projects.


Carmel Mission also has four museum galleries that give insight into the history of both the Monterey Peninsula and all of the California Missions. The Harry Downie Museum shows the history of Carmel Mission's restoration. Carmel Mission's Munras Family Heritage Museum gives the history of one prominent area family, showing how their history intertwines with the history of the Peninsula. The Jo Mora Chapel Gallery has ever-changing art exhibits, but its centerpiece is the Mora-sculpted Serra Memorial Centotaph. The Convento Museum shows visitors what Carmel Mission was like during different eras through interpretive displays, and allows them to see the cell where Junipero Serra lived and died.

Entrance donations ($5 adult, $4 senior, $1 child) go to the restoration of the mission. Carmel Mission's museum is open Monday through Saturday 9:30am-5pm and Sundays, 10:30am-5pm.

Place of Worship

Carmel Mission is still an active parish, providing worshippers many opportunities to attend mass. Mass is held Monday through Friday at 7am, noon and 5pm; on Saturday at 8:30am and 5:30pm; and Sunday at 7:30am, 9:30am, 11am, 12:30pm and 5:30pm. Check the official Carmel Mission website for more information about each Mass.


Couples wishing to marry within the Roman Catholic Church may hold their wedding at Carmel Mission. See the Carmel Mission website for more information.