Mission San Buenaventura
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The area around the mission is the most beautiful part of Ventura. The mission stands, pristine, with its striped top, beside an Australian pine that reaches high to the sky. It backs the blue-green eucalyptus-covered mountains. In front of the mission is a blue-tiled fountain with a long tiled rivulet that leads to another fountain. A lovely deep-hued mural of the Chinese workers that inhabited this area is adorned with matching blue tile. A little rose garden with some varieties hundreds of years old completes the square (see the couple kissing in the rose garden in the photo above). Looking further south, one sees more historical homes and all the way down to the sea.
Across the street from the mission is a hilly park with tall, wonderful old trees. There are some homeless people in this park.
Inside the mission gates is a colorful garden full of flowers and tropical trees. A white statue of Mary sits peacefully in a "cave" surrounded by candles and flower arrangements. A statue of Father Junipero Serra, who founded all of California's missions, also stands in the garden. There are plenty of pretty ironwork benches where you can sit in the gentle breeze and enjoy a few minutes of serenity.
Inside the mission chapel is narrow and gorgeous, in Spanish style.
Ventura has some horrible winds that whip through the valley most days, but this area is a little sheltered, which makes it a nice place to spend some time.
If you walk two blocks along Main Street you will come to the main strip of Downtown Ventura. Grab an icecream cone or sit down for a great meal in one of the many ethnic restaurants.
Each mission is a little different and some people make a tour out of seeing them all! Santa Barbara Mission has a stunning location with views of the sea. Views from the rose garden are heaven. La Purisma Mission is a wonderful pink color and each room is set up like it would have been when it was a working mission- it's a magical place. Carmel Mission has the most wonderful flowers in both gardens. Mission Santa Ines is a yellow mission amongst the Solvang countryside.
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211 E. Main Street, Ventura CA 93001.
Exit Highway 101 northbound at California Ave, and turn left on Main Street. Exit the 101 Freeway southbound at Main Street. You can park along Main Street.
Open Mon-Fri, 10-5, Sat 9-5, Sun 10-4. Closed on holidays. Call (805) 643-4318.
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