While at the Mission

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.”

Each person who visits with us is warmly welcomed and offered the opportunity to grow in their knowledge of California and their knowledge of how much God loves them. There is so much to do here during your visit, including walking in the footsteps of our beloved founder and first pastor, St. Junípero Serra, known as “the Apostle of California.” There are several museums, a wonderful collection of art and religious artifacts, beautiful fountains and courtyards, all deserving some of your time. No visit here would be complete without admiring the unique collection of religious and Mission-related gifts in our Museum Store. 

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

Visit 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
Candid photography taken by visitors is permitted. Portrait photography and videography such as family portraits, holiday portraits, engagement photos, maternity photos, and graduation photos requires a confirmed written reservation at least 48 hours in advance of the reservation. Wedding photography is only permitted for those being married at the Mission on the day of the wedding. Quinceanera photography is not permitted. Photography used for commercial purposes is typically not permitted and would require written permission.

If you are interested in using the Mission grounds and gardens as a backdrop, kindly contact store@carmelmission.org for permission and rates. A confirmed reservation with receipt of payment is required. We request you make your reservation a minimum of two 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
Are available for admitted visitors and those attending service.
Service Animals
Qualified service animals, such as a guide dog, are
welcome at the Mission. No other pets allowed.
Emergency Information
For emergencies, dial 9-1-1. Our address is 3080 Rio Road
in Carmel, CA 93923. Please notify Mission staff of any
incident, accidents, or emergency as soon as possible.
Operating Hours & Mass Schedules


Updated 02/02/22

Hours of Operation:
Monday and Tuesday, CLOSED
Wednesday and Thursday, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Friday and Saturday, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday, from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm

Mission Grounds close 15 minutes prior to the Mission Store.

Contact Us

Mission Store : store@carmelmission.org  831.624.1271 – ext 210
Parish Office : reception@carmelmission.org 831.624.1271 – ext 200
Museum Curator : info@carmelmission.org

Mass Schedule/Communion Services
Vigil Mass (Saturday): 5:30 pm.
Sunday: 9:00 am and 11:00 am

Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Noon Mass: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 12:00 pm

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Confessions: Saturday at 9:00 am in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.