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Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3584
Phone Number:
+1 805-962-2526
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center is located on...

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

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 119 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 41
  • 44
    Very good
  • 20
  • 7
  • 1
Kids love it!

My kids love going to the sea center. This time they pet small sharks and sea slugs. It is always educational, and the staff are so friendly.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Cheyenne, Wyoming
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119 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 113: English reviews
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Level Contributor
45 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My kids love going to the sea center. This time they pet small sharks and sea slugs. It is always educational, and the staff are so friendly.

Thank mmrwc
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2017

Not too big and plenty of activities to keep my littles ones interested. We spent about 90 minutes there before we felt like my kids had reached their limit (4 & 22 months).

Thank PurdieParks
Santa Ynez, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 2 February 2017

The Santa Barbara Sea Center is a fantastic place to bring the children. The staff was very enthusiastic and helpful.

Thank wavehopper15
Level Contributor
92 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2017 via mobile

Pretty cool stop. Free parking for 90 minutes. Unless your touching everything you can run through it in less than that. Lots of local animals.

Thank redneckITengineer
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2017

Took our two grandkids ages 1 and 3. Great place to vist and well worth the time and $$. Got to pet sharks!

Thank SaraD656
Santa Barbara, United States
Level Contributor
78 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2016

This is a local favorite and when our kids were younger we bought a pass and went every weekend. Outstanding. We recently had a wedding on the grounds and it was superb.

Thank Steen H
Riverside, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 27 November 2016

We were staying in the area and looking for a good experience for our 7 and 10 year old grand kids. We researched the website and some of the reviews before taking a chance. It was great! The helpful staff introduced the kids to touching the marine life and provided ample explanations for everything. There was a wide variety available.

Thank Jimbo G
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2016 via mobile

We happened to visit this museum on a free day, so I can't speak to the entrance fees to this museum. The exhibits are nice and we'll executed. My kids particularly enjoyed the kids exploration area. We should have stayed there longer. I enjoyed the cultural section of the museum. It's a great museum to visit with children, due to... More 

Thank ALaLa722
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2016

Small but well curated touch pools with sharks,shell animals and jellyfish. Great for family fun , nice hands on experience with microscopes and sediment from bay.

Thank Katherine H
Level Contributor
61 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2016

I loved all of the hands on activities for visitors of all ages. My favorite exhibit was of a dolphin that had undergo a necropsy. Very interesting. The volunteers were excellent....a real plus for the Museum.

Thank dinkydog99

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?