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“Ok museum”

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
Ranked #20 of 180 things to do in Santa Barbara
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Located on the water's edge of the Santa Barbara Harbor, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum contains exciting & educational exhibits set inside of nearly 8,000 square feet of Museum space. The Maritime Museum also offers a wide range of educational programs including docent tours, and Tall Ship tours. Admission also includes a series of films shown daily in our large screen, high-definition Munger Theater. Fun for the whole family!
Reviewed 12 December 2013

Santa Barbara has a lot of museums. Most are world-class. As a Maritime Museum, i would give this a 3 star, at best. however, if you can get into any of their lectures or shows, those are great!

Thank SBGiGi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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124 - 128 of 195 reviews

Reviewed 9 December 2013

The museum was very quiet when we arrived, and I was concerned that we had a dud on our hands. I needn't have worried. This little museum tells the story of the Santa Barbara Channel area in a just-right sized package.

The story starts with the local natives and the story of the early exploration, but the pace quickens with some beautiful models of ships wrecked on the treacherous coast. As a military history buff I was stunned to learn about the loss of seven US Navy destroyers that ran aground during a terrible fog one day.

The fog must have been thick because the grandest display in the museum is the two-story tall lens array from the old lighthouse at Point Conception. It is enormous, and you can only imagine how much light must have been focused through it.

Other displays included deep-sea diving helmets and suits, some photos of the very old petroleum business in the area, and the inevitable information about the ecological peril that the area is in.

One fun bit was an apropos-of-nothing periscope that is mounted through the roof and lets you spy on people in the nearby marina, on the beach, etc. Great fun, even if it doesn't have much to do with the maritime history of the area.

If you like museums or if you like learning more about the places you visit, this is definitely worth a couple of hours of your time.

Thank mmccalpin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

I must admit, I wasn't really that impressed by this place as a whole. Some of the diving suits on display were interesting, but the larger exhibit was probably far more detailed on the diving industry than I needed. I enjoyed the information on the Channel Islands, on shipwrecks (Honda Point disaster, in particular), on the oil spill in Santa Barbara Harbor as a pivotal moment in the environmental movement. Seeing the lens from the Point Conception Lighthouse was probably the highlight of the visit. Decent views from observation deck on fourth floor (admission fee not required; take elevator to left of docent's desk at entrance to the fourth floor--stairs only go to third floor). Docents were very helpful, answering questions both related to the museum and generally about my trip to Santa Barbara. Overall, not super-excited by my visit, but admission was reasonable, good location, and didn't take much time to see, so probably worth a visit if you're heading to the harbor.

Thank Wilkie2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Who knew this museum would be so captivating? My husband and I went in with friends just to view Jack London's photograph exhibit and didn't emerge for over two hours. We watched several films that were fascinating, educational and beautifully filmed. We also went up to the viewing deck overlooking the harbor. Spectacular; especially when the weather is dramatic or just incredibly clear! We will go back because we feel we have so much more to see… the films were especially captivating and there was just not enough time to see them all. Highly recommend if you are interested in the sea, sea life or just the area surrounding Santa Barbara, the central coast and the channel islands but allow time to watch the films..

Thank Linda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2013

Nice place to visit. Kids would really enjoy this. It was nice along the Marina, looking at the boats and finding a nice place to eat. Chuck's Waterfront Grill is right next door.

Thank MaryAnn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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