California Mission Santa Ines in Solvang, Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Ines Mission

Mission Santa Ines, Solvang, CA

Mission Santa Ines – founded in 1804, is today located in Solvang, CA, a charming Danish town. It is also located within the Santa Ynez Valley, which, along with the recent addition of winemaking, is an area where the horse culture is strong. Be sure to check out the Santa Ines Photo Gallery for more pictures.

Mission Santa Ines is named for Saint Agnes, a martyr of the fourth century in Rome.

This mission (sometimes misspelled as “mission santa inez” or “mission santa ynez”) is the eighth in the chain from the south and was the nineteenth mission founded of the eventual 21.

Founding was on September 17, 1804 by Father Estevan Tapis who was the president of the California missions at the time.

It is north of Mission Santa Barbara, in Solvang, and just to the east of Mission La Purisima in Lompoc.

Mission Santa Ines Quick Facts

Address: 1760 Mission Dr., Solvang (Santa Barbara County)
(Google map – opens in new window)
GPS coordinates: 34.59450, -120.13630
Phone: (805) 688-4815
Church Hours: Open daily 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
Museum: A self-guided tour of the Museum & Gardens is open daily from 9 am – 4:30 pm(except Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day). Admission is $5.00 per adult, no charge for children under 12.
Gift Shop: Open daily 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
Mission Mass Times: Mission Santa Ines Mass times (opens in new window)
Church website: Mission Santa Ines website (opens in new window)

View of the main altar and reredos from the choir loft at the Santa Ines Mission

Like most of the other missions in California, Santa Ines suffered from earthquakes, the establishment of the Mexican state, and secularization after becoming part of the United States.

However, restoration began in earnest with the arrival in 1904 of Father Alexander Buckler. Prior to his coming to Santa Ines, the mission buildings and grounds had come to a sad state of disrepair. He labored for twenty years and really began the process of repair that continue to this day.

1865 Edward Vischer sketch of Mission Santa Ines

An 1865 drawing of Mission Santa Ines by Edward Vischer

The caption at the bottom of the sketch reads: “North View of the Church and Ex-Mission of Santa Ines, sketched 1865 (with groupings of the olden times.)”

A rearview of the church at Santa Ines Mission

Rear-view of the church

As mentioned in the “Quick Facts” above, there is a museum and gift shop in the mission with many interesting artifacts of that era.

I find that the common, everyday items can give a unique perspective of an era; perhaps far better than the high-value items that are most often saved and shown.

A peaceful view of the garden at Santa Ines Mission in Solvang

The gardens at the mission

Things to do around Santa Ines Mission

There are many opportunities for wine tasting in any of the towns of the Santa Ynez valley. Certainly a good addition to a mission visit as the missions brought viticulture to California.

Growing up around this mission, Solvang began as a Danish colony and retains this flavor.

A stop here can include the interesting shopping, wonderful restaurants and a “don’t miss this!” visit to one of the outrageously good Danish bakeries. The butter rings are our favorites, but you can’t go wrong with any choice.

Just a bit further east you’ll find Santa Ynez. Named for the mission, you can see yet another variant spelling which adds to confusion when doing online searches.

Santa Ynez is a “western” sort of town, with a strong horse culture. You can also find here the Chumash Casino. The Chumash are the original inhabitants of the valley and the region.

The casino has first-rate amenities – hotel and restaurants and is a popular gaming center for folks from LA and further north.

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