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Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

2559 Puesta del Sol Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
805-682-4711
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Ranked #19 of 71 Attractions in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Natural History Museums
Activities: Walking
Traveler Description: Museum of Natural History 2559 Puesta del Sol Road Santa Barbara, 93105 805-682-4711 (General Information) 805-682-4711 x174 (Observatory/Plan... more »
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99 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
TX
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

This is a sweet little museum, a little randomly laid out, perhaps, but I believe that is the result of some re-arranging and adding on after a fire. It's small and manageable for kids, with several hands-on displays, and various rooms for mammals, birds, insects, ocean life, butterflies, and the Chumash Indians. We especially liked the display cases of nests... More

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Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014

When on Sterns Wharf head into the Sea Centre especially if you have kids - this is a hands on environment where they are anxious to share their knowledge. It was quite expensive and we were done in about 1hour however my son was anxious to fish and didn't want to hang about too long. There were many hands on... More

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

We went late in the day here and wished we had gone earlier. There is a lot to see for such a small town museum. They had a butterfly pavillion that is better than the one in Los Angeles. And the grounds are amazing for adults and kids. My seven year old could have played all day. If you have... More

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San Marcos, California
Top Contributor
200 reviews 200 reviews
75 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

Not bad but not very interesting. Some decent exhibits but overall not worth the time and money. The worst part is how confusing the museum layout is. Seems like they randomly put things together over the years,

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Santa Cruz, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2014

This is one of the best small natural history museums that I've ever visited. A local Santa Barbara landscape Painter, Ray Strong, created the extraordinary dioramas. There is a wide diversity of local birds, mammals, and butterflies. A planetarium, art gallery, and many other exhibits are featured, and the outdoor paths along Mission Creek affords natural light after viewing the... More

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Santa Barbara, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

This is a comfortable, old-fashioned museum with fascinating exhibits. The yearly butterfly exhibit is an absolute highlight. Worth taking the family, always fun and comforting. The grounds are beautiful as well. One of the best spots in Santa Barbara.

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Indio, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

This is a wonderfully laid out museum both inside and out. We loved the backyard where you could wander down trails by a stream where buckets, pans and shovels awaited those who really wanted to dig in. Or wander over a bridge to explore more of what the landscape had in store. The butterfly exhibit was enchanting. Especially to see... More

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Northern California
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
22 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Great sized natural history museum for kids. Outstanding historic building and location. Wonderful collections, and exhibits of all kinds. Beautiful seasonal butterfly exhibit!

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Kansas City, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

There was a lot to see at this museum, and we especially enjoyed the butterfly pavilion. There were some walking trails that we could have taken, but it was kind of warm that day. All in all it was an interesting place to visit.

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Ventura, CA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

I sometimes wish there were less "plastic" exhibits, but the museum does present a historical and geological/ oceanography perspective of the area. We were fortunate this past weekend to arrive there so see the best butterfly exhibit we've seen (just visited the butterfly place near Victoria B.C. which to me did not compare to this one). It was a joy,... More

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