Museum open Wed–Sun, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM (last entry at 4:00 PM). Reservations recommended. Sea Center on Stearns Wharf open daily, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM, purchase tickets on-site. Please wear a mask to protect those unvaccinated, especially our youngest guests.

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

A woman and a young boy looking at a giant replica of a Gray Whale on the bright and airy upper deck at the Sea Center

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.

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

If you're planning a fall 2021 or winter 2022 visit, please note: The Sea Center on Stearns Wharf will be temporarily closed from September 7, 2021 to February 2022. During this time, the Sea Center’s building infrastructure will be upgraded and upstairs exhibits will be refreshed in order to offer the best guest experience and habitats for our live animals. Some animals will be housed temporally at the Museum's Mission Creek campus during construction, so that Museum guests can continue to interact with and learn about the biodiversity of the Santa Barbara Channel and how we can play a role in protecting this unique ecosystem for generations to come. For more information, please contact Sea Center Director Rich Smalldon at

Want to get involved?

Check out our Sea Center Volunteer Opportunities!

Sea Center Santa Barbara Stearns Wharf