Going to the Maritime museum is a wonderful treat for anyone. The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is a must stop if you are close to the Santa Barbara Harbor. Just looking through the periscope is worth admission. Located at the Harbor's Waterfront Center, the Maritime Museum features a balance of highly interactive exhibits, such as the periscope. The periscope extends from the roof for anyone to view. Just like an actual periscope from a submarine, it gives you a 365 degree viewing radius. It is one of the best exhibits at the museum. This museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting to the public the maritime heritage and on-going educational platform to study human interaction with the marine environment.
- Point Conception First-Order Fresnel Lighthouse Lens
- History of Oil in the Channel
- Deep-Water Commercial Diving
- Pilot a Ship into the Harbor
- Working Periscope
- History of the Channel Islands
- Honda Naval Disaster
- Surfing Legends
- Working Ship Models
- History of Commercial Fishing
- Art Gallery
- Munger Theater with daily films
- Interactive Children's Gallery
- Museum Store featuring local artists, unique treasures and souvenirs
- Nearby are whale watching tours, water sport rentals and great food next door
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum opened its doors to the public in July 2000 in the Waterfront Center Building, formerly the Naval Reserve Building, with the unique mission to interpret the diverse maritime history of the Santa Barbara Channel. Founded by a group of fishermen, divers and sailors - those who are a part of this history - Santa Barbara Maritime Museum centered on interactivity and the founders envisioned it as a place where the public could experience maritime culture without leaving the harbor. Santa Barbara is a coastal community, with a strong, varied maritime history. The Santa Barbara Channel is an important part of our culture and is rich in history and natural resources. SBMM provides hands-on learning opportunities for all ages to delve into that history.
Through interactive learning opportunities, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum hopes to instill a love and respect for our Santa Barbara Channel, for the people who make their living on its waters, for those who enjoy its recreational activities, and for the abundant marine life that calls these waters home. The museum has nearly 8,000 square feet of exhibit and office space, as well as docking space for three historic vessels. An additional 5,000 square foot warehouse off-site allows for artifact collection and storage. The 88-seat, high-definition Munger Theater also provides a venue for films, lectures, and panel discussions on all things maritime. Santa Barbara Maritime Museum currently has a membership base of nearly 2,400 members. Attendance approaches 45,000 visitors annually.
Take the 101 freeway to Garden Street. Turn towards the ocean and follow it until it ends on Cabrillo Blvd. Turn right and go past State Street and past Castillo. Take the first left after Castillo and turn left. There's usually paid parking in this area. Follow the boardwalk towards the pier. The Maritime Museum is to your right. If you reach Brophy Bros. restaurant you've gone too far.