St. Junípero Serra and the Mission Basilica Shrine The final resting place of Saint Junípero Serra, Founding Father of California
The Caravaca Cross
The personal reliquary cross of Saint Junípero Serra, and one of the most important artifacts of California and Colonial Missionary History.
Our Lady of Bethlehem Statue
The oldest European styled statue of Our Lady brought to Carmel by Saint Junípero Serra.
The First Library of California
A treasure trove collection of colonial era books brought to Carmel by the Franciscan Missionaries.
Founded 1771 by St. Junípero Serra
Carmel Mission Basilica
3080 Rio Road, Carmel California
Welcome to Carmel Mission
I’m delighted that you have chosen to visit this very special place. You follow in a long line of saints, popes, kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers, who have graced us by their presence. One of those distinguished pilgrims, St. Pope John Paul II, commented during his visit here in 1987: “This serene and beautiful place is truly the historical and spiritual heart of California.”
I pray that you will truly enjoy your visit with us and that you take with you some of the love that sustains the “ heart of California.” May you move (in the words of St. Junípero), “Always Forward, Never Back“, with renewed hope in your heart, and great love in your life.
Fr. Paul P. Murphy
Pastor at Carmel Mission
Visitation Guidelines and Policies
The Carmel Mission is a vibrant and active parish community. We welcome visitors and pilgrims from all around the world, who come to explore the history of the Mission and experience it fully in today’s setting.
We ask that all visitors respect our beautiful prayerful environment. Kindly know that access to the basilica and parts of our grounds may be limited due to services, events or restoration activity.
If you wish to reserve a tour or visit as part of a pilgrimage, kindly contact us in advance of your visit to ensure you receive written confirmation of your visit. Please go to Planning Your Visit.
Photography & Drone Policy
Photography and videography of any kind, whether for personal use (i.e. family portraits, holiday portraits, wedding/engagement photos, quinceañera, company team photos, maternity photos, graduation photos, etc) or commercial use requires a reservation.
If you are interested in using the Mission grounds and gardens as a backdrop, a reservation must be booked two business days in advance. To ensure a positive and safe experience, the Mission prohibits the use of drones over its private property. All visitors to the Mission are advised that their photo may be taken by staff for promotional purposes as part of the effort to raise awareness of the Mission. Names are not provided. Attendance at the Mission implies consent.
Wheel chairs are available upon request at the Museum Store
Museum Store & Grounds Hours
Monday through Sunday 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Museum grounds close at 4:45 pm
Mass Schedule/Communion Services
Blessed Sacrament Chapel
Daily Morning Mass: (Mon-Fri): 7:00 am
Additional Visitor Information
Parking, calendar, events and our historical information brochure is available for download.
Click to Download our Map and Guide.