Carmel Mission

The Basilica of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission (Carmel Mission) was founded by Fr. Junipero Serra in 1770, making it the second of the 21 California missions. Though San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission was founded in Monterey, it was quickly decided that Carmel-by-the-Sea was a more appropriate location for its purpose. The fledgling establishment was moved to the Rio Road site in 1771 and the Carmel mission was dedicated in 1797. Fr. Serra was buried within its grounds.

San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission

San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission is considered the most authentically restored Franciscan mission, and despite its many events and services, the Carmel Mission's courtyard and gardens are peaceful places to meditate or rest. Self-guided and docent-led tours are available; see the Carmel Mission website for more information. Admission to the grounds and mission is $6.50 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for children, and children under 6 are admitted for free. All funds go to mission restoration projects.

Mission San Carlos Museum

Carmel Mission also has four museum galleries that give insight into the history of both the Monterey Peninsula and all of the California Missions. The Harry Downie Museum shows the history of the Carmel Mission's restoration. Mission San Carlos Borromeo's Munras Family Heritage Museum gives the history of one prominent area family, showing how their history intertwines with the history of the Peninsula. The Jo Mora Chapel Gallery has ever-changing art exhibits, but its centerpiece is the Mora-sculpted Serra Memorial Cenotaph. The Convento Museum shows visitors what Mission San Carlos Borromeo was like during different eras through interpretive displays, and allows them to see the cell where Junipero Serra lived and died.

Entrance donations ($6.50 adult, $4 senior, $2 child) go to the restoration of the mission. The Carmel Mission's museum is open Monday through Saturday 9:30am-5pm and Sundays, 10:30am-5pm.

Place of Worship

San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission is still an active parish, providing worshippers many opportunities to attend Mass. Mass is held Monday through Friday at 7am, noon and 5pm; on Saturday at 8:30am and 5:30pm; and Sunday at 7:30am, 9:30am, 11am, 12:30pm and 5:30pm. Check the official Carmel Mission website for more information about each Mass.

Carmelo Mission Weddings

Couples wishing to marry within the Roman Catholic Church may hold their wedding at San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission. See the Carmel Mission website for more information.

Map and Directions

Carmel Mission is located at 3080 Rio Road, Carmel, California.

From Route 101: Take Route 68 to Route 1 South. Turn right on Rio Road. Follow for 6/10 of a mile. Carmel Mission will be on your left.

From Monterey and points north: Take Route 1 South to Rio Road. Turn right. Follow for 6/10 of a mile. Carmel Mission will be on your left.

From Big Sur and points south: Take Route 1 North to Rio Road. Turn left. Follow for 6/10 of a mile. Carmel Mission will be on your left.


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