Mission San Luis

A 300-year-old landmark is drawing attention from political powerhouses. Mission San Luis is one of the oldest Spanish missions in Florida and it's being eyed for a national attraction.

It's a spiritual, historical, harmonious site where Indians and Spanish settlers spent days and nights. Now 300 years later, Mission San Luis still stands strong with a few renovations.

The 17th century Franciscan church was destroyed by fire in 1704; so was the Appalachee Council House that stretched 72 feet to the sky.

It's the only 17th century Spanish mission open to the public. Currently it receives thousands of regional visitors, but Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wants to make it into a national attraction.

"It's spectacular, there's a fundraising drive underway, it has great potential," said Bush.

It’s potential that's appealing to tourism staff and locals, especially those interested in the mission's educational purpose.

"School groups, my goodness, they go to the capital. This would be a full day if they came here and went there too," said visitor Christie Kimbrel.

But money is everything; mission workers say they need legislative support and local applause to make this site a national treasure.

Right now the Mission San Luis draws only 12,000 visitors a year. That's just a sliver of the amount of visitors who head to California to see similar Spanish landmarks.


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