St. Francis by the Sea

430 Park Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA

Deemed the second-smallest Catholic church in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1983, St. Francis by the Sea clocks in at just 1,008 square feet, with room for just 42 people at Sunday mass. While it’s certainly diminutive, it more than makes up for its size in charm. In addition to hosting regular services, the church is home to the National “Sick Call” Set Museum, which features kits from as far back as the 1880s that were used to perform last rites. In the choir loft, visitors can peruse everything from crucifixes and bowls for holy water to devotional items like statues, then head downstairs to ogle the church’s beautiful stained-glass windows and wood-beamed ceilings. Though St. Francis doesn’t hold regular hours, guests are welcome following Sunday mass or during larger Laguna Beach tours.

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