Explore Santa Barbara
Also Featured In
For a date that's out of this world, why not steal a kiss than inside the city's only planetarium? A giant skeleton of a blue whale (his name is Chad) greets you at the entrance to the Santa Barbara... Read More
For a date that's out of this world, why not steal a kiss than inside the city's only planetarium? A giant skeleton of a blue whale (his name is Chad) 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 eleven 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. It is also home to the area's only planetarium. For a natural history experience with a seaside twist, visit their associate site on the wharf, the 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
- Romantic Things to Do: "Go during summer to catch the museum's beloved Butterflies Alive! exhibit, featuring hundreds of free flying butterflies."
- 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."
- 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."
- 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.
- 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 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.