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  Plan Your Visit
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The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is located just behind the Old Mission and offers visitors of all ages a wealth of things to see and do. Walk right up to a life size, 74-foot Blue Whale skeleton. Enjoy informative exhibit halls about birds, insects, mammals, marine life, fossils, and Native Americans. Contemplate the beauty of nature and the confluences of nature, history, science, and the arts in the Maximus Art Gallery. Browse and read in the beautiful Museum Library, including its excellent children’s collection. Wander and explore the Nature Trail along Mission Creek. Experience the wonder and excitement of space exploration in the Space Lab and Gladwin Planetarium. Purchase mementos and unique gifts at the Museum Store. Enjoy our changing exhibit offerings.

Owned and operated by the Museum, the Sea Center is located on Stearns Wharf. The Sea Center features interactive experiences and exhibits to introduce visitors to the marvelous diversity of ocean life in the Santa Barbara region and how we can help protect it for the benefit of future generations. Touch sharks in the shark pool and sea urchins in the touch tank. Help Sea Center staff and volunteers collect samples of ocean water and examine it for tiny and strange looking plankton. Crawl through a 1,500-gallon tidepool tank to see ocean life from a different perspective. Enjoy our changing exhibit offerings.

LOCATIONS (ADDRESSES & PHONE NUMBERS)

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History*
Located just beyond the Old Mission
2559 Puesta del Sol
Santa Barbara, California 93105 USA
805-682-4711


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Sea Center*
Located on the historic Stearns Wharf
211 Stearns Wharf
Santa Barbara, California 93101 USA
805-962-2526


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* NOTE: The Museum and Sea Center are pet-free and non-smoking campuses.
Please, no food or drinks in the exhibit halls and areas, and please silence your cell phones. 

HOURS OF OPERATION

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History*

  • Open Daily 10:00 AM–5:00 PM, except for these holidays and special events.
  • Closed All Day: New Year’s Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday of November), Christmas Day (Dec 25), and the last Saturday in June for the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™.
  • Closing Early at 3 PM: Christmas Eve
    (Dec 24).

Sea Center

  • Open Daily 10:00 AM–5:00 PM, except for these holidays and special events.
  • Closed All Day: New Year’s Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday of November), and Christmas Day (Dec 25), and October 22-31
  • Closing Early at 3 PM: Christmas Eve
    (Dec 24).

ADMISSION & PARKING

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History*

  • Members FREE (except for special events such as the annual Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ and Santa Barbara ArtWalk™)
  • Adult (18-64 years) $12 
  • Senior (65+ years)$8
  • Teen (13-17 years) $8
  • Child (2-12 years) $7
  • Child (less than 2 years) Free
  • SB Nature Pass
  • Planetarium Tickets: Members free; Non-members $4/person with paid admission.
  • Free Family Sundays are the third Sunday of January, February, March, April, September, October, November and December.
  • Parking is Free
* NOTE: During the summer season (generally between mid-May and mid-September) Museum admission rates increase by $1. 
 

Sea Center

  • Members FREE (except for special events such as the annual Sensational Seafood)
  • Adult (18-64 years) $8
  • Senior (65+ years)$7
  • Teen (13-17 years) $7
  • Child (2-12 years) $5
  • Child (less than 2 years) Free
  • SB Nature Pass
  • Public parking on Stearns Wharf is free for the first 90 minutes with ticket validation by a wharf merchant.

Get a Museum Membership and visit both the Museum and Sea Center for free.
Plus Museum Members get free planetarium tickets for daytime shows.
Group Rates available.
 

GROUP RATES (effective November 1, 2012)

Terms & Conditions

  • Space is limited and reduced group rates for admission to the Museum and Sea Center is available to groups of 10 or more by reservation only.
  • Reservations must be made one week PRIOR to your visit.
  • If Museum Members are included in the group of 10 or more they are required to pay group rate.
  • Groups must pay as a group in one transaction.
  • Admission to the Planetarium is NOT included in the group rate admission. Planetarium tickets cost $4 per person PLUS Museum admission.

Museum Group Rates (Determined on a per person basis):

  • Child (ages 2–12) $5 per person
  • Teen (ages 13-17) $6 per person
  • Adult (ages 18–64) $8 per person
  • Senior (age 65 and over) $6 per person
  • Local college students visiting as a class assignment $8. The class list of participating students must be submitted to the Museum's School and Teacher Services Department by the professor in advance of student visits to receive discount.
     

Sea Center Group Rates (Determined on a per person basis):

  • Child (ages 2–12) $4 per person
  • Teen (ages 13-17) $4 per person
  • Adult (ages 18–64) $6 per person
  • Senior (age 65 and over) $5 per person

To make your Group Rate Reservation please call one week PRIOR to your visit.

  • Museum 805-682-4711 ext. 108
  • Sea Center 805-962-2526 ext. 108
     

 

DIRECTIONS

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

  • From the North: Take U.S. Hwy 101 south to the Mission Street exit. Turn left (towards the hills) at the offramp stop light.
  • From the South: Take U.S. Hwy 101 north to the Mission Street exit. Turn right (towards the hills) at the offramp stop light.

  • After exiting the freeway, proceed on Mission Street to Santa Barbara Street.
  • Turn left on Santa Barbara Street, proceed two blocks to the first stop sign at Los Olivos.
  • Turn right on Los Olivos and continue past the Old Mission which will be on your left.
  • Stay to the left on Los Olivos at the "Y" beyond The Old Mission. You will cross a stone bridge . . . you are nearly here!
  • Turn left onto Las Encinas and then left again onto Puesta del Sol.
  • Proceed to the first parking lot driveway and turn right. Parking is free.

Sea Center

  • From the North: Take U.S. Hwy 101 south to the Garden Street exit. Turn right (towards the ocean) at the offramp stop light.
  • From the South: Take U.S. Hwy 101 north to the Garden Street exit. Turn left (towards the ocean) at the offramp stop light.

     
  • After exiting the freeway, proceed on Garden Street to Cabrillo Blvd.
  • Turn right onto Cabrillo Blvd.
  • Turn left onto Stearns Wharf at the intersection of Cabrillo Blvd. and State Street.
  • Drive onto the pier, and the Sea Center is to your left as you drive onto Stearns Wharf.
  • Public parking on Stearns Wharf is free for the first 90 minutes with ticket validation by a wharf merchant.
     
 

 

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