Travel & Events

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

We took the kids to visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center on the Santa Barbara Pier recently, and we had such a great time! The Sea Center is like a mini aquarium, with lots of hands-on things to do for children of all ages.  Tanks to look at, starfish and sea urchins to touch, sand to draw up from the ocean floor and sort through, a microscope to project the findings onto the wall, and lots of other fun little things to see and do.

Our kids especially liked the jaw-like grabber that drops down into the water and collects fresh sand from the ocean floor- Gman was actually able to lower it down himself, do a collection, and bring it back up and then all the kids sorted through it and looked at all the various items in the sand- it was awesome!  There were multiple very kind volunteers who helped him along, PATIENTLY, he really really (really!!) loved that!

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

There were multiple touch tanks, plus cool things to look at like blacklit jellyfish and an octopus!

Gman sorting through the sand he pulled up from the ocean:

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

H touching some things in the touch tank:

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

Sorting through sand pulled up from the bottom of the ocean:

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea CenterSanta Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

From The Sea Center’s Site:

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center is located on Stearns Wharf. It is an engaging, interactive marine education facility that allows visitors to discover the fun in science and the wonders of the natural world.

At the Sea Center visitors of all ages can enjoy interactive exhibits, opportunities to work like scientists, a theater showcasing the wonders of the Santa Barbara Channel, hands-on close encounters with sea creatures, and a live shark touch pool. Children can crawl through a 1,500-gallon tidepool tank to see ocean life from a different perspective.

Click here to view the Sea Center’s current exhibits.

Click here to view the Sea Center’s location and hours.

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Walking around the Stearns Wharf Pier outside the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center:

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea CenterSanta Barbara PierSanta Barbara Pier

There are five restaurants on the Stearns Wharf Pier (hours of operation taken from page in link) as well as tons of small shops and an ice cream shop:

Char West

Char West
Charburgers, cheeseburgers and the yummiest fish and chips this side of the English Channel.
221 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 962-5631

Hours
Sunday through Saturday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm


Harbor Restaurant

The Harbor Restaurant
Excellent Dining and Santa Barbara’s Most Beautiful View
210 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Hours
Mondays 11:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Tuesdays 11:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Wednesdays 11:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Thursdays 11:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Fridays 11:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Saturdays 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sundays 10:00 pm – 10:00 pm


Longboards

Longboard’s Beach Bar and Grill
Casual Dining with an Ocean View
210 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 963-3311

Hours
Mondays 11:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Tuesdays 11:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Wednesdays 11:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Thursdays 11:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Fridays 11:30 pm – 12:00 am
Saturdays 11:00 pm – 12:00 am
Sundays 11:00 pm – 10:30 pm


Moby Dick Restaurant

Moby Dick
An Excellent Breakfast Venue.
220 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101  (805)965-0549
(805) 965-0549

Hours
Sunday through Saturday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm


Santa Barbara Shellfish Company

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company
That great little crab place near the end of the Wharf.
230 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara, CA 93109
(805) 966-6676

Hours
Sunday through Saturday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm


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