Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, Santa Barbara

(120+ reviews on the web)
Natural History Museum
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, formerly known as the Ty Warner Sea Center, is a museum located on Santa Barbara’s historic Stearns Wharf, owned and operated by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The museum focuses on the marine life and the related conservation of the Santa Barbara Channel.HistoryThe museum reopened in 2005 after the building of a $6.5 million facility. The new building's major donor was businessman Ty Warner, also a local resident.ExhibitsLiving Beach: An interactive tide pool.BioLab: Depicts the biological life cycle of marine creatures, including sharks.Wet Deck: Focuses on oceanography and includes the "moon pool," which is an open well that allows access to the external seawater. A theater features videos about the Santa Barbara Channel and the area also features an interactive science lab.Mammal Mezzanine: Examines 36 species of marine mammals found in the area, including an exhibition about marine mammal language.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • On the advice of a local we visited. If the admission was more than $12 I would have been extremely disappointed. There are a lot of dioramas and it's very much geared towards the younger crowd. It's ...  more »
  • The Sea Center is relatively small because it's on the wharf but they put a fair amount of activities in it. We got reciprocity on entry from our science center back home (Association of Science-Techn...  more »
  • We went to the Museum of Natural History Sea Center a few months ago and it was looking a bit sad. The touch pool was great, but there was a really pungent smell in the upper area near the kid's sort ...  more »
Google
  • Great little place on Stearn's Wharf. Perfect for children and adults. Friendly staff. Not very big but lots of fun, interactive things to do and a lot to learn. Those with sensitivities to smell will be cautioned to the plasticine dolphin upstairs. The odor is not too strong but definitely present. I wasn't bothered by it but others may be. Great views of the ocean and shore from upstairs.
  • It's​ a nice small museum. Kids will enjoy interacting in the tidepool tank and the shark touch tank. Also, they have a cool exhibit of jellyfishes (medusas).
  • Excellent location and we enjoyed our visit, but it's quite small. (Yes, I realize the pier location limits the size.) If you'd like a place to stop in for a quick educational experience, go here.
  • It's a bit small but has an awesome little area with glow in the dark jelly fish and stuff like that.
  • always fun for the kids. Looking forward to the new moxi musuem as well so I can take kids to both in the same trip.