The Mission San Xavier del Bac is a church, school, and frequently visited tourist attraction in Tucson on the Tohono O’Odham San Xavier Indian Reservation.
The mission was named in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Kino for a pioneering Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order), Francis Xavier.
Completed in 1797, the church has Mexican, Spanish, and Tohono O’odham influences.
Dubbed the “white dove in the desert,” visitors come from near and far to see the ornate and detailed artwork, to learn about the history, and to admire the careful preservation.
Where is the Mission San Xavier del Bac located?
The mission is located at 1950 W. San Xavier Road in southwest Tucson.
What are the hours?
7:00am to 5:00pm daily
The museum hours are 8:00am to 4:30pm daily.
Free tours are offered Monday-Saturday starting at 9:30am until 1:00 pm when the church is not in use. Be sure to call in advance to check availability.
Please note the mass schedule:
- Monday-Friday 6:30am (in the Juan Diego Chapel)
- Saturday Vigil 5:30pm
- Sunday 8:00am, 11:00am, 12:30pm
All are welcome to attend mass. Services typically last 45-60 minutes.
Why would I visit Mission San Xavier del Bac?
- To learn about the history
- To marvel at the intricate artwork
- To take photographs
- To attend mass
- To eat indian fry bread
How much does it cost?
Admission is free. Donations are accepted.
What is the parking situation?
Visitor parking is available in a large dirt lot in front of the mission.
What should I wear?
Dress for the weather as you will be walking both indoors and outdoors. There is neither heating in the winter nor air conditioning in the summer.
What should I bring with me?
Water bottles, snacks, cash, and a camera. Perhaps a sketchpad or journal?
Are bathrooms available?
Which days are most and least crowded at the Mission?
The Mission is most crowded on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Least crowded days are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Is outside food allowed at Mission San Xavier del Bac? If so, are there picnic tables?
Food is not allowed in the church itself. The adjacent San Xavier Plaza sells food, however, and there are some outdoor areas where you could sit down to enjoy a snack.
Does the Mission San Xavier have a restaurant?
What restaurants are located NEAR the Mission?
The Mission is pretty far off the beaten path so you’ll likely have to drive 10+ minutes to dine. Our top picks within a 10-mile radius are:
- BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs, 5118 S. 12th Ave (4.0 miles away) – tacos, tortas, burros, steak, sonora style hot dogs
- Five Points Market & Restaurant, 756 S. Stone Ave (9.4 miles away) – brunch and lunch only
- Agustin Kitchen, 100 South Avenida del Convento (9.7 miles away) – farm to table, indoor + outdoor dining, local ingredients
- Cafe a La C’Art, 150 N. Main Ave (9.8 miles away) – on-property of the Tucson Museum of Art, indoor + outdoor seating
- La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave (9.9 miles away) – salad, sandwiches, fish, brunch
- Cafe Poca Cosa, 110 E. Pennington St (10 miles away) – imaginative Mexican cuisine in an upscale, urban bistro setting
BABIES & KIDS
What ages would be best suited for a visit to Mission San Xavier del Bac?
Elementary age students (and older) will probably get the most enjoyment out of the artwork and museum. That said, babies and toddlers are certainly welcome.
Should I bring a stroller?
Sure. The mission itself isn’t very big, but you may walk a bit around the property and/or up the adjacent hill.
Are there changing tables in the restrooms?
What about my other “baby” (dog, cat, etc)?
Pets are allowed in the facility if on a leash.
Can I have my wedding or rehearsal dinner at Mission San Xavier del Bac?
The Mission was created to serve the needs of the local community. As such, the policy is “to only do marriages, baptisms, etc. or the local community. The church cannot be rented out.”
Is Mission San Xavier del Bac active on social media?
What else do I need to know before I go to the Mission San Xavier del Bac?
- You may want to begin your visit by watching the 20 minute film about the history and restoration of the Mission. It plays continually between 8:00am and 4:30pm in the museum.
- Check the tour schedule in advance if you would like to take a free 45-minute tour.
- If you wish to light a candle, please purchase one at the gift shop or in the museum foyer for $3.
- Photography is permitted in the church, except during mass.
- Many people say that the fry bread that is sold in the parking lot is not to be missed! Fry bread is available for purchase on most days with the exception of Mondays.