Explore the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum!

We know it can be tough to spent time indoors when you’re in beautiful sunny Santa Barbara, but the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is worth your time! On your next trip to Santa Barbara, visit the Maritime Museum to learn more about Santa Barbara’s history.

What is the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum?

This museum is dedicated to celebrating the Santa Barbara Channel through exhibits and experiences that highlight the important role the sea plays in Santa Barbara’s history.

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum opened in July 2000. A group of fishermen, divers, and sailors founded the museum. Because these groups are an important part of the sea culture, they are extremely knowledgable about this history.

The museum provides many interactive learning opportunities for its guests through its exhibits.



The newest exhibit at the museum is History of Oil in the Santa Barbara Channel. Oil has been an important part in Santa Barbara’s maritime history. The Chumash used the natural seeps in the channel for their tomols and baskets. Also, the world’s first offshore oil well was off Summerland Beach. Because of the oil production, commercial diving technology flourished and eventually the modern environmental movement grew out of the 1969 Oil Spill. Learn how oil has affected and continues to affect our lives through this exhibit.

Other exhibits include:

  • Early Explorers
  • The Chumash
  • Whaling
  • History of the Waterfront
  • Commercial Fishing
  • Surfing
  • Santa Barbara Lighthouse Women Keepers
  • Shipwrecks

and more!

Location and Hours

Inside the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, courtesy of smithsonianmag.com

113 Harbor Way, Ste 190

Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10am – 5pm

Saturdays: 9am – 3pm

Closed Wednesdays and certain holidays (New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and the 1st Friday in August for Fiesta)


 Adults (18-64)$8
Senior (65+)$5
Students w/ ID$5
Youth (6-17)$5
Child (1-5)Free
Active MilitaryFree
SBMM MembersFree

Have you been to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum?

We’d love to hear about your experience! You can follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with the latest at Santa Barbara and Marina Beach Motel!