The Museum is open Wed–Mon, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM. Masks required indoors. The Sea Center is closed for renovations through spring 2022.

Sea Center

The Sea Center on Stearns Wharf is available for rentals starting June 2022.

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Description: One-of-a-kind location for evening receptions, weddings, meetings, cocktail parties, and dinners. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center invites you and your guests to enjoy our unique setting and breathtaking views. As your guests arrive at the soaring, light-filled Reception Hall with its two-story walls of glass and lifesize California gray whale models, they will know this is a truly special event.

Whether you are planning a wedding, cocktail party, formal dinner, reception, awards ceremony, or evening meeting, we invite you to experience the unforgettable, contemporary beauty of the Sea Center. Perfectly suited for groups of 10 to 200 people, the Sea Center is a unique location for your special event.

Ambiance: Unlike any other location in Santa Barbara, with beautiful ocean, harbor, beach, and mountain views. Located on historic Stearns Wharf. Gorgeous ocean views abound at the Sea Center. The east side of the Reception Hall looks down the coast towards East Beach, Montecito, and the spectacular Santa Ynez Mountains. The west side looks out toward the sunset and Santa Barbara's picturesque harbor.

Rental Options:

  • Indoor areas only (entrance hall, Marine Mammal Mezzanine, and unstaffed exhibits)
  • Entire facility including adjacent outdoor pier area


  • Indoor seated event (e.g., dinner, presentations, etc.) up to 60 people
  • Indoor standing event (e.g., cocktail party) up to 150 people
  • Outdoor area can accommodate up to 150 people for a seated dinner reception or 200 people for a cocktail reception


  • Theatre with projector and screen (seating for 25)
  • Restrooms
  • Electrical outlets

Internet Access: Yes


  • Available in nearby public parking lots


  • No smoking, balloons, confetti, or open flames.
  • Events can only begin after 5:30 PM (Sea Center closes to the public at 5:00 PM).

For more information, please contact Jose Lobato at or 805-962-2526 ext. 111.


“My sister had her wedding here and it was beautiful! Views from the pier and a great party atmosphere inside. I even learned a thing or two about mantis shrimp during the reception.” September 2019

Photo by Releve Unlimited

Facility Rentals
Sea Center