Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá was the first mission developed in California and features a rebuilt church, fascinating history, educational displays, and beautiful gardens. The church features a 46-foot-high wall with 5 bells, with the largest, "Mater Dolorosa," weighing 1,200 pounds. You can find models, photos, and drawings of historical mission events in the Casa de Los Padres room.

For those interested in diving deeper into the history of the mission, you can schedule a tour guided by knowledgeable docents. Visitors are also invited to join Mass, as services are available daily.

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá - one of the highlights of 10 Most Instagrammable Places in San Diego (Read all about San Diego here)

Highlights of Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá was created by Saint Junípero Serra in 1769 and was moved just 5 years later to be near the San Diego River to allow for better access to the Kumeyaay tribe, farmland, and water. The mission was attacked and badly damaged in 1775, and restorations began in 1776.

A wall was added around the mission to protect from further attacks, and the mission grew to 55,000 acres with orchards and vegetable gardens. In the 1850s, the mission was used by the US Cavalry, but in 1862, President Lincoln ordered the lands to be returned to the church.

Good to know about Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá

When visiting Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá, don’t forget to check out the gift shop for souvenirs and keepsakes. You will find the mission located west of the San Diego River in the Grantville area on San Diego Mission Road.

The gardens and green space surrounding the mission are a great place for a picnic lunch, and you will also find several restaurants nearby. While you are in the area, you may also enjoy a stop at Mission Trails Regional Park, which offers 7,220 acres filled with natural beauty, hiking trails, fishing, camping, and boat rentals.

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá

Location: 10818 San Diego Mission Rd, San Diego, CA 92108, USA

Open: Daily from 10 am to 3 pm

Phone: +1 619-283-7319