Museum open Wed–Mon, Sea Center open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

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 regional aquarium offers you close encounters with marine animals from the Santa Barbara Channel. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Sea Center hosts unique events, special educational programming, and school field trips.

Plan your visit to Stearns Wharf; check out Sea Center Location and Hours.

Sea Center visitors exploring local marine life

Visit the Wet Deck to try out classic tools for studying the ocean, and discover all the life beneath the Sea Center. Every day is different, since we're observing a constantly changing environment.

Explore the underwater world of the Santa Barbara Channel in our updated upstairs exhibit Dive In: Our Changing Channel. Encounter a Two-spot Octopus, Moon Jellies, Giant Pacific Seahorses, and more. Learn about the channel’s unique habitats from rocky reefs to kelp forests and see the animals that live there.

On the Marine Mammal Mezzanine, Sea Center guests can get up close with a life-sized model of a Gray Whale mother and calf, and learn about many more marine mammals, including a remarkable number that live in or migrate through the Santa Barbara Channel.


The Sea Center is proud to be part of the White Abalone Restoration Consortium, which is working to bring this endangered marine snail back from the brink of extinction.

Learn about the Sea Center's long history of supporting marine science education and inspiring conservation.

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 to the Sea Center and our sister campus the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Plan your visit to Stearns Wharf; check out Sea Center Location and Hours.

Want to get involved?

Check out our Sea Center Volunteer Opportunities! Read the first-hand story of a young volunteer on our blog. Inspired by the Sea Center's ocean advocacy? Check out our page of ways to help marine wildlife in our local region.

Sea Center Volunteers holding Shark jaw bone

Celebrating a special event?

Learn how you can book the Sea Center for weddings, receptions, and private parties.

Private party at the Sea Center