Mission San Buenaventura: Visiting the 9th California Mission

Mission San Buenaventura is the 9th of the California Missions to be founded, and it was the last to be founded by Father Junípero Serra. As far as missions go, it is definitely on the smaller side, but it makes up for its size in beauty. Located right in the heart of downtown Ventura, this spot has one of the prettier gardens of all the missions. Here is all the information so you can check it out yourself and you can read my itinerary to visit all of the California missions here.

Buenavenutra mission2-3


  • Cost: $4
  • 30 min to see it
  • Location: 211 E Main St, Ventura, CA 93001

Getting There

Mission San Buenaventura is located on Main St, which is the popular downtown area in Ventura. Depending on where you get off on the freeway you will make your way Northeast to Main St, turn left and then go down to the end to where you will see the mission on the right. There is street parking which was a dollar an hour when I went.

The Mission

Buenavenutra mission2-2

To enter the mission you need to walk into the store right next door and pay the fee. From there you walk up the stairs into the small museum before entering the mission.

Buenavenutra mission2-1

The museum has a few unique artifacts that I hadn’t seen at the other missions, such as these super cool old wooden bells.

mission san buenaventura-1

After exiting the museum you will be in the courtyard for the mission. The map given to you will direct you as to what you should see while in the area but its pretty easy to see it all since it is not that big.

mission san buenaventura-7

The courtyard has been meticulously kept up with tons of colorful flowers and a bubbling fountain; it really is beautiful.

mission san buenaventura-6

I walked straight into the chapel since that is the main attraction here. The chapel itself is almost 90% original so it is pretty awesome to see since many of the missions have been recreated and fixed.

mission san buenaventura-5

The chapel is not as gaudy as some of the other ones, especially those that I saw on this section of the drive. I enjoyed that it had a more simple vibe though and it was beautiful.

mission san buenaventura-3

I was the only person there when I went so I took my time exploring the chapel itself.

mission san buenaventura-8

After seeing the chapel you can head out behind the mission to where the school is currently. There are a few old pieces of the aqueduct back here that are worth seeing before heading back in.

mission san buenaventura-9

The courtyard also has a few statues dedicated to the priests that have worked here and a statue of Mary.

mission san buenaventura-10

There is a nice bubbling fountain in the middle as well.

mission san buenaventura-11

Lastly, there is a statue of Father Junípero Serra which is a staple of the missions I have been to.

mission san buenaventura-12

Also of note, I found it interesting that many of the missions were olive or wine producers and this one is no different. They have a very small exhibit dedicated to this. After exploring a little more to photograph the flowers and courtyard, I headed out. This is certainly one of the more beautiful missions but not one that you need that much time to see.

mission san buenaventura-2

Do be sure to also to head out to the front and see the missions exterior as it is gorgeous and it is easy to forget about it, depending on where you parked.

mission san buenaventura-13

All in all, this is a great mission to see if you don’t have a lot of time. I would also recommend heading up to Grant Park, which is a short 5-minute drive from the mission, as you can see the Serra Cross dedicated to Father Junipero Serra up there as well. Also, you can read about all of the California missions here.

Interested in supporting this blog?

This blog is simply a hobby and labor of love for me. If you have enjoyed the posts consider sharing it with your friends. I want as many people as possible to explore this state and you can help by letting them know about all of the great spots!

About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.