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Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center
Ranked #27 of 177 things to do in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

It is pretty small, however you can still walk around freely without a guide, and have the opportunity to touch some marine life.

Thank Jess H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (132)
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94 - 98 of 132 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2012

For an educational center, this place is fairly well done. There is a touch-tank, and a handful of exhibits. However, it is really small -- I think the average 5-year-old would be ready to move on after half an hour (at least that's my experience!). There's no comparing this to any aquarium from a larger city. I would not necessarily recommend this to someone from out of town as a must-see, but if you are on Stearn's Wharf and want a diversion for your kids (or yourself), then it is worth popping into. And if you are a local with kids, like myself, I think it's totally worth getting a family membership to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, which gets you free admission to both the Museum and the Sea Center. That way you can drop in any time you are on the Wharf.

Thank Charu C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the museum, but it would have been more fun with kids. They have tidal pool tanks to touch all sorts of sea life. There was a jelly (no longer jellyfish) exhibit that was very cool.

Thank Travelerjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Loved the location on the Wharf. Kids (ages 8 & 9) loved the hands-on exhibits. Small museum, but nicely done. Would recommend to others.

Thank kmoeller99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2012

Save your money and skip this. We spent $26 for two toddlers and two adults and couldn't spend more than 20 minutes there. If you've ever been to a real aquarium, there's nothing of interest here.

Thank ts60611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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