Mission Canyon, which with the Old Mission complex and the area bounded on the south by Mission Street, making up Santa Barbara’s “Mission District,” is unique. No residential neighborhood in the city boasts a richer historical background, or offers more relics and landmarks of Old Spanish Days.Fr. Junipero Serra, when he helped found the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara in 1782, intended Santa Barbara’s Franciscan mission to be built in El Montecito near the present site of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church on East Valley Road. But four years later, when his successor, Fr. FerminLasuen OFM, arrived to establish our mission, he decided that Montecito was too infested with grizzly bears and renegade Indians to risk building a mission so far removed from the protection of the presidio soldiers, so he looked elsewhere. With it’s larger lots and peaks of the ocean and Santa Ynez Mountain Range, this community enjoys a warmer and drier climate. Home to the Santa Barbara Tennis Club and Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, Mission Canyon boasts amazing hiking trails and native plant habitats.
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