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A giant skeleton of a baby blue whale greets you at the entrance to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, letting you know that you have arrived at a magical place dedicated to the wonders of... Read More
A giant skeleton of a baby blue whale greets you at the entrance to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, letting you know that you have arrived at a magical place dedicated to the wonders of nature. Occupying 11 acres in historic Mission Canyon, the Museum of Natural History boasts a beautiful campus, complete with Spanish-style grounds and buildings. Exhibits include a mineral and gem gallery, Chumash Indian culture center and the much admired dioramas in the Mammal Hall (among many others). It is also home to the area's only planetarium. The SBMNH is located within walking distance of the Santa Barbara Mission. For a natural history experience with a seaside twist, visit their associate site on the wharf, the Ty Warner Sea Center.
- Daily 10am-5pm
- Museum Adult $10; Senior (65+) $7; Student (13-17) $7; Child (3-12) $6; Child (0-2) Free
Sea Center Adult $7; Senior (65+) $7; Student (13-17) $7; Child (3-12) $5; Child (0-2) Free
- Best Attractions & Activities: "Visit the Curiosity Lab with your little one for a chance to examine, touch and draw specimens as well as ask questions of a staff naturalist."
- Romantic Things to Do: "Go during summer to catch the museum's beloved Butterflies Alive! exhibit, featuring hundreds of free flying butterflies."
- Things to Do with Kids: "In the summer, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is home to the much beloved Butterflies Alive! exhibit."
- Museums: "The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is home to the much beloved Butterflies Alive! exhibit, allowing you to walk through a garden with 1,000 free-flying butterflies."
- Recommended as Best Attractions & Activities Because: This museum is both fun and educational. It has a whale skeleton named "Chad" right out front, incredible exhibition halls and a planetarium!
- Best for Romantic Things to Do Because: Because leaning is always a turn on, right? But seriously, this museum has a stunning outdoor space that is perfect for romantic walks.
- Best for Things to Do with Kids Because: Taxidermy, glowing minerals, life-sized dioramas, a planetarium... what's not to love?
- Best for Museums Because: This is the place for curious hearts of every age. Check out a giant whale skeleton and catch a show at the planetarium.