Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Santa Barbara is home to a rich maritime history. In its early days, it was the most significant port for shipping and importing on the central coast, so it only seems right to have a museum that celebrates this wonderful history. The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is home to countless exhibits, historical artifacts, and educational opportunities. Here are a few reasons why you should consider stopping by the museum during your next Santa Barbara vacation.

Exhibits at the Museum

There is so much to see at this wonderful maritime museum in Santa Barbara, CA. There are many exhibits that you can enjoy year-round and certainly many more that cycle through the seasons. This keeps a day at the museum fresh and exciting.

One of the most renowned spectacles at the museum is the Point Conception Lighthouse Fresnel Lens, which guided boats safely through the treacherous waters around Santa Barbara since 1856. Thousands of vessels of the years owe their safe passage to this massive Fresnel lens. You can find countless other exhibits that touch on an incredible range of topics from commercial boating history and surfing to sailor tattoos and cannons that once defended the coast. There is so much more to see!

Opportunities at the Museum

The museum is as much about educating future generations as it is about remembering past generations. That is why there are such strong opportunities in place to get involved and learn with a community of maritime enthusiasts. The Marine Science Program is one of the favorites, as it takes about 400 elementary school children out on a boat every day for two weeks. Out on the water, kids are able to observe wildlife like whales and dolphins, analyze mud and water samples from the ocean, and so much more.

The Tall Ship Program is another great opportunity that brings kids aboard to spend the night on an old ship, giving them a sense of what life was like for an 1830s sailor. There are so many more opportunities to learn and help others learn, thus advancing the mission of the museum even further than simply displaying historical artifacts.

This maritime museum in Santa Barbara, CA goes a long way in keeping this maritime culture alive with strong reminders of where this community has come from. After a visit here, you will never see the community of Santa Barbara in quite the same light as before. Make sure you check out the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum during your next visit!

Photo By Jllm06 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31153825