We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Historical Mission”

Mission San Luis Rey
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Mission San Luis Rey Museum Admission
More Info
and up
Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Mission San Luis Rey
Ranked #3 of 71 things to do in Oceanside
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Founded in 1798, Old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, known as the "King of the Missions," is a National Historic Landmark. The largest of all the 21 California missions, it is home to a community of Franciscan Friars and is open daily to the public in the Franciscan tradition of heritage and hospitality. Facilities include a Retreat Center with day and overnight programs for spiritual renewal, multi-function meeting spaces, a Cemetery open to all people, Mission Gift Shop, Historic Church and interpretive Museum.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 13 May 2014

4*San Luis Rey Mission
Largest of the 21 traditional missions
Very tranquil cemetery
Beautiful garden with a pepper tree
Nice museum tour; fee
Simple, but memorable, church
Friendly staff

1  Thank Rosquete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (462)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

337 - 341 of 462 reviews

Reviewed 9 May 2014

Anyone who is anyone has been here. The world's best artists flock to this Pass each year...unknown. Great views.

1  Thank robert w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

This place isn't just a Mission to tour. That's fine too. But you can also book a room to stay here over night in "dorm style" rooms for a spiritual retreat getaway. You can sign up for a private retreat when you're not part of a group, if they have openings. (Though they are often booked up.) A lot of peaceful, garden-like settings to enjoy, quiet benches, fountains, bird baths, the stations of the cross walk.

They also provide a nice break room where you can use a fridge, microwave and they provide coffee and water for free. We didn't buy a meal plan, so I can't review their cafeteria. (It was $25 more per person for 1 night stayover / 3 meals.) We opted to bring our own food instead since we knew we wanted to escape to Ruby's Diner at the end of the Oceanside Pier for one of our meals. We brought a picnic lunch, and soup cans to heat up for meals. They also had light snacks in the breakroom throughout the day.

It's a peaceful location overall.

The rooms a dorm style, twin beds. A small desk / chair. The bathrooms in the hall, with stalls and showers. But you have to be careful. The bathrooms change genders, probably based on how big other groups are at the time (and if they're more male or female heavy.) A nice large bath in the main hall was for men this time that was for women last time I stayed there.

My only complaint this stay was the two main bathrooms were both men's rooms, despite how many women there were staying here at the time. And the only big one for women was way down the end of the side hall. That's a long walk in the middle of the night, that you're so awake by the time you get back to your room. I wish they'd given the men one of the big restrooms on the main hall and given us the other one instead of giving them both. I was tempted to switch the sign myself. LOL.

Tip: Ask in advance how busy they are going to be on your weekend. If it's almost full to capacity, it may not be as peaceful as you want. Or the rooms you may want to enjoy may not be available. (We love the chapel rooms which are sometimes used for groups. Since they were only about 1/2 or less capacity we had no trouble getting to use the areas we wanted to use) If you have flexibility, try to plan last minute so you can know for sure how busy it will be before you commit to going. We booked just three or four days in advance.

Lastly: Bring a fan! While they have ceiling fans, the noise of a fan will drastically reduce the hall noise once you try to sleep. Their doors are like "swollen" (as if there were humidity) and people's comings and goings can be heard. When we were there, we had some loud group on our hall and yet we did not hear them at all over the fan. They were up past midnight too, even though the signs clearly say quiet hours start at 10pm. They didn't observe this and yet, we weren't disturbed ONLY because we brought a rather loud fan.

Enjoy the time at the mission if you're looking for some good solace, prayer time.

2  Thank mikki777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Mission San Luis Rey is a total experience. It is like going back 200 years in time or more. This is one of the best in terms of preservation, and I believe it is the largest or one of the largest. Photo ops everywhere.

1  Thank jefyuaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2014

As a history teacher, I just had to visit San Luis Rey. Historically, it's the 18th mission and the largest of the Spanish missions. And large it is! The grounds are immense and so well maintained! It's also still in operation for everything from retreats to sightseeing to company meetings. It has a great little souvenir shop but we missed the museum. *Tip* The museum closes at 4:30 so plan appropriately. There is also admission charged at the museum. You'll love your visit!

Thank William A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Mission San Luis Rey also viewed


Been to Mission San Luis Rey? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing