Best Santa Barbara Museums

The dog days of summer are here! Of course, you’re always welcome to cool off by jumping in the water. But, sometimes learning something new is just as cool! Did you know that Santa Barbara is home to some fascinating museums? Let’s go over a few of the best Santa Barbara museums you should prioritize when you visit.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History was founded in 1916. Since its founding, it now includes almost 4 million specimens from natural history around the world. Some of these aspects consist of mammals to astronomy and everything in between. This massive property also has the Central Coast’s only planetarium along Mission Creek. There are also tons of educational programs for all ages. On nearby Stearns Wharf in 1986, the Sea Center was opened to bring major emphasis to the regional ocean environment. Their overall goal is to help unite people and nature. You can get united too! Visit the museum between Wednesday – Monday, 10 AM – 5 PM and the Sea Center Daily from 10 AM – 5 PM.

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

If the Sea Center intrigues you, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum will blow you out of the water! This museum houses over 13,000 years of history from the impact of the Santa Barbara Channel. Also on the Santa Barbara Harbor, there are tons of interesting exhibits ranging from a handmade Chumash canoe to tattoo exhibits and even the impact of a local oil spill. It is very kid friendly as well, with hands-on activities and movies. The museum is open Thursdays – Tuesdays 10 AM – 5 PM and their outdoor visitor center is open 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM everyday.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has over 25,000 works of art and welcomes over 150,000 visitors per year. In their permanent collection, there are paintings, ceramics, and textiles from all across Asia, Europe and the Americas. They also provide many educational opportunities and programs to connect their audience with the elegance of art. The museum is open from Tuesday – Sunday from 11 AM – 5 PM, with special extended hours on Thursdays until 8 PM.

Ready to learn?

All of these museums are within a 15 minute drive of Marina Beach Motel. We are the perfect location for your stay, as we are centrally located in the middle of the Santa Barbara Harbor District. Come stay with us and enjoy everything we have to offer!

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