We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

Features Animals
211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3584
+1 805-962-2526
Review Highlights
Nice small aquarium

Docents on hand to answer questions. Touch pools but really pretty small. The natural history... read more

Reviewed 26 March 2016
San Luis Obispo, CA
Great for Kids

This is a wonderful place to bring the kids. Lots of hands on experience, touching sea stars and... read more

Reviewed 18 February 2016
La Crescenta, California
Read all 133 reviews
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center is located on Stearns Wharf and fulfills the mission of the Museum to inspire a passion for the natural world. At the Sea Center visitors of all ages can enjoy interactive exhibits, opportunities to work like scientists, a theater showcasing the wonders of the Santa Barbara Channel, hands-on close encounters with sea creatures, and a live shark touch pool. Children can crawl through a 1,500-gallon tidepool tank to see ocean life from a different perspective. The Sea Center is an engaging, interactive marine education facility that allows visitors to discover the fun in science and the wonders of the natural world.
  • Excellent37%
  • Very good40%
  • Average16%
  • Poor6%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“sea creatures” (10 reviews)
“touch tank” (7 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-3584
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (133)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

41 - 50 of 126 reviews

Reviewed 26 March 2016

Docents on hand to answer questions. Touch pools but really pretty small. The natural history museum is a much more impressive and better value for the money spent venue.

Thank SLOcyn
Reviewed 18 February 2016

This is a wonderful place to bring the kids. Lots of hands on experience, touching sea stars and small sharks, anemones, etc. The ground floor has several touch centers manned by knowledgeable docents. There is even an open area where they will let you drop...More

Thank Tylersnana55
Reviewed 18 February 2016

A Great experience for a family, especially those interested in nature. Exhibits do vary, be sure to call and/or check local newspaper.

Thank Brian K
Reviewed 6 January 2016

Its a fairly small facility, but many displays and activities make this an excellent attraction. Price is reasonable and it was easy to find a two for 1 coupon. We loved the touch ponds and informed staff!

1  Thank Fun4family2000
Reviewed 2 January 2016

It is a bit pricey, but you can get a coupon at the visitor center. Downstairs consists of mostly open pools for touching sharks, starfish, sea slugs, etc. My kids spent most of the time going back and forth to each pool. There is also...More

Thank francisfammem
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 29 December 2015 via mobile

Very average experience. Pricey for what you get. Enjoyed touching a starfish and a swell shark. Won't go out of my way to experience this.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 28 November 2015

Seems a bit expensive for what is there but it was a good experience for small children for less than an hour. The docents are knowledgeable and friendly but the information and displays are very limited. The kids will not want to spend an entire...More

Thank ElaineG29
Reviewed 15 November 2015

I was expecting a bigger place, but it I had fun. I got to feed baby sharks, and the employees are knowledgeable about our marine life. This is a great place to visit at any age

Thank rosemarie p
Reviewed 11 October 2015 via mobile

This is a small venue. I would recommend buying the pass to go to both museums instead just this one. You do get to pet some little sharks and play with some tide pool creatures. The jelly fish exhibit is small but fun none the...More

Thank Tim T
Reviewed 30 September 2015

Being 23, I had a lot of fun here with my fiancé, she loves this stuff and we got to pet sharks and try to catch fish on the wet deck. was a bit surprised they have a real dead dolphin upstairs you can touch....More

Thank Disneycastmembr
Nearby Restaurants
The Lark
834 reviews
.63 km away
Santa Barbara Shellfish Company
1,234 reviews
.21 km away
Santa Barbara FisHouse
860 reviews
.39 km away
Sambo's Restaurant
892 reviews
.57 km away
Nearby Attractions
Stearns Wharf
1,578 reviews
.09 km away
Cabrillo Bike Path
204 reviews
.53 km away
Santa Barbara Visitor Center
113 reviews
.43 km away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines