Step into the past as never before at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum. It is the mission of this one of a kind museum to preserve modes of transportation that are important to our history. There is no effort spared in fulfilling this mission. Countless people have been amazed by the incredible examples of carriages at the museum since it’s opening in 1972.
About the Museum
Museum pieces chronicle the history of the carriage, from the simplest and earliest examples to ornate and beautiful carriages. An incredible array of carriages come in fashions like mud wagons, army wagons, circus wagons, and so much more. One of the most significant features of the museum is the massive sculpture of one of Ben Holladay’s famous carriages and six horses, created in 1932.
But it is not only carriages that will catch your eye at the museum. Another great collection is that of over 50 saddles which were used by famous people. Owners of these saddles range from Cisco Kid and Will Rodgers to Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart among many others. Many people would not think of a museum featuring carriages, but it is the incredible history and simplicity of it that makes it so enthralling.
What Do You Do at a Carriage Museum?
Well, look around of course. This is the perfect place to take a casual stroll, while you can also enjoy the museum’s amazing collection of carriages. If you can, you will want to be here on the third Sunday of each month. It is on this day that the museum offers docent-led tours from 1 pm to 4 pm. This free experience offers insight into the beautiful features of the museum and the larger history of the carriage and other horse-dependent transportation methods that are so prevalent in human history. You can also arrange for private tours for larger groups at any time!
The museum is home to one of the most uniquely western ambiances that you will find anywhere. As such, the museum plays to host to almost all of the western-themed events that sweep through the area every year. Check the museum calendar for more information on these awesome events!
This probably is not on your short list of things to do in Santa Barbara, but it is a unique experience that not a lot of people get to enjoy. Make the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum a part of your itinerary for your next Santa Barbara vacation.