The Mission Today

Mission San Luis Rey is accessible and used for the benefit of the community in many ways.

Tours are provided to more than 20,000 fourth grade students annually who visit the Mission as part of their California history education. Group tours are available with advance reservations.

The Mission Museum is open daily and houses exhibits relating to the colorful history of the area. Its collections include artifacts from early Mission period, Native Americans, Spanish, Mexican Secularization and American Military periods.

The cemetery, the oldest in North County San Diego, is open to people of all faiths.

The beautiful, flower-filled gardens contribute to the peace filled environment and provide a welcome respite from the modern world.


The Museum

The Mission Museum is in the section restored and reconstructed over 100 years ago by the Franciscan Friars from Zacatecas. The arched portico is 200 years old. The Church, which is part of the Museum, has been standing since 1813.

The Mission Museum houses exhibits relating to the colorful history of San Luis Rey. Its collections include artifacts from Native American, Spanish Mission, Mexican Secularization, and American Military periods.

The Mission museum houses the largest collection of 18th and 19th century Spanish vestments in the United States.

The museum also displays a splendid collection of original art including a few pieces over 300 years old.


The Cemetery

The cemetery adjoining the Old Mission dates back to 1798 and contains early grave markers, mausoleums, and a monument built in memory of the Luiseno Band of Mission Indians and local native people.

The Mission San Luis Rey Cemetery is the oldest community burial ground in North San Diego County, dating back to 1798.

The cemetery has undergone recent expansion and may be utilized by members of all faiths and parishes.


Programs at the Mission

Today’s Mission is used by business, charitable, religious and community organizations for meetings and conferences. City, County and State officials use it on a regular basis for meeting with their constituents and other social events. The center accommodates up to 100 overnight guests.

The Chamber of Commerce, the Navy and Marine personnel from Camp Pendleton, The Luiseno Band of Mission Indians, all make use of the Mission buildings and grounds for their cultural events.

North County Earth Day is celebrated annually as Pepper Tree Day in the courtyard around the Mission’s pepper tree – the oldest pepper tree in California.

The annual Heritage Ball is a gala event with an elegantly catered dinner and dancing. The Heritage Ball is held late in the summer.

The Lavanderia

The Mission grounds include the Lavanderia, site registered at the archaeological survey office at the University of California at Los Angeles, and given the permanent trinomial designation Sdi241.

The Lavanderia was a bathing site and place for washing clothes.

Additionally, the structure provided a means of channeling water into the Mission garden and fields for irrigation. It was an extensive water conservation system.

This site used by the early Indians needs restoration.