Discover the wonders of ocean life at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center. Built in 1987 on historic Stearns Wharf, this highly interactive marine education facility offers you close encounters with marine animals from the Santa Barbara Channel. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Sea Center hosts unique events and special educational programming, including the Live Dive series.
Using a gentle two-finger touch, you can interact with marine animals such as sharks, rays, sea stars, sea urchins, and sea anemones. On the wet deck, be a scientist and use oceanographic tools to sample the ocean and examine marine life. Start your investigations with the Secchi disk, Ekman grab, Van Dorn bottle or crab net.
Upstairs, you can relax in the Channel Theater, observe mesmerizing jellies, a captivating octopus, and tour a unique marine mammal mezzanine to see life-size Gray Whale replicas. Learn about the Sea Center's White Abalone Captive Breeding Program, which is working to bring this endangered marine snail back from the brink of extinction.
The Sea Center was created to communicate the biodiversity and ecological importance of the regional ocean environment. This small aquarium and marine education facility offers guests hands-on encounters with life from the Santa Barbara Channel, including Swell Sharks, rays, sea stars, sea urchins, and anemones. On the wet deck, guests experiment like scientists by using oceanographic tools to sample the ocean and examine life below. Upstairs, guests can view mesmerizing jellies, Decorator Crabs, a California Two-Spot Octopus, soft corals, and other animals found in nearby waters. Life-size replicas of a Gray Whale mother and her calf preside over an unparalleled view of the coast towards East Beach, Montecito, and the spectacular Santa Ynez Mountains.