Founded in 1916 as the Museum of Comparative Oology, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has evolved to include more than 3.5 million specimens covering every aspect of natural history—from mammals, birds, and marine life to geology, astronomy, paleontology, and anthropology.
Newly renovated in 2018, the Museum boasts state-of-the-art interactive exhibits for all ages, paired with the Central Coast’s only planetarium, on 17 acres of oak woodland along Mission Creek. Guests learn about the Santa Barbara region’s unique and diverse natural history and then go outside to explore nature in the Museum Backyard. Museum education programs serve all ages to promote scientific literacy and instill a passion for nature and learning.
Open daily 10:00 AM–5:00 PM.* Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day and the last Saturday of June for the annual Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival.™ Visit the website for current daily admission prices. Parking is free. Get the SB Nature Pass and visit both the Museum and Sea Center at a discount.
If you believe you can tackle all that Santa Barbara has to offer in just one day, you my friend, are truly mistaken. Between the can’t-beat beaches, adventure-awaiting mountains, full-belly foodie scene, the shop-till you drop State Street, and an unmistakable arts and cultural backdrop, fitting all of Santa Barbara into even just one weekend might pose a challenge. Now that…