Sea Center

Discover the wonders of ocean life at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center. Located on historic Stearns Wharf, this highly interactive marine education facility offers you close encounters with marine animals from the Santa Barbara Channel. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Sea Center hosts unique events and special educational programming, including the Live Dive series.

Get your hands wet!

Using a gentle two-finger touch, you can interact with marine animals such as sharks, rays, sea stars, sea urchins, and sea anemones. On our wet deck, be a scientist and use oceanographic tools to sample the ocean and examine marine life. Start your investigations with the Secchi disk, Ekman grab, Van Dorn bottle or crab net. Which tool would you like to use first?

Upstairs, you can relax in our Channel Theater, observe mesmerizing jellies, a captivating octopus, and tour a unique marine mammal mezzanine to see life-size Gray Whale replicas.

Learn about the Sea Center’s White Abalone Captive Breeding Program, which is working to bring this endangered marine snail back from the brink of extinction.

One visit is not enough

The ocean is dynamic and each day is different. Come back to discover more! Members receive free admission all year long.

Sea Center Exhibits

Sea Center Location and Hours

Sea Center Volunteer Opportunities

Sea Center Event Rental Information