Looking for the top things to do in Santa Barbara, CA? A two-hour drive from Los Angeles, North on the 101 Coast Highway, brings you to Santa Barbara’s Waterfront, a wonderful place to visit! The historic Stearns Wharf boasts casual and fine dining, shopping, and the Ty Warner Sea Center, which is great for family fun. The Maritime Museum is housed in the former Santa Barbara Naval Reserve Center, and has a working periscope, dive equipment displays, local maritime artifacts, a children’s learning center, and a rooftop visitors center with a great view of the harbor. Sea Landing, off the marina, offers tour boats, sport fishing, and rentals. Here are some of the stops we’ll make and the highlights of what we’ll see on the tour.
For the complete Santa Barbara tour on your phone please visit Santa Barbara Waterfront
Santa Barbara Waterfront
Santa Barbara’s waterfront is a great place for family fun.
You can spend the day visiting Sterns Wharf – shopping, eating at its restaurants, and fishing.
The Santa Barbara Harbor also has shops, restaurants, and the Maritime Museum.
You can even take a walk on the breakwater.
Various boat and land tours originate from the waterfront area.
Explore the Ty Warner Sea Center on the wharf.
It’s great for kids of all ages. Make sure to check out the touch tank.
Crawl through a tunnel inside a 1500-gallon tide pool surge tank, and view live jellyfish…
…and an octopus, among other activities.
Across the water you’ll find the harbor, with boat tours, the breakwater, and the Maritime Museum – another great place for the kids.
Originally built as the Naval Reserve Center, and completed shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor,
the museum offers multiple hands-on activities like the virtual sport fishing exhibit, the pilot house,
and the working periscope.
Plenty of dining opportunities are available on the waterfront, from casual to elegant. The wharf offers the historic Harbor Restaurant, originally built in nautical style, including a ship’s helm and mast, lanterns and anchor lights, a chronometer, and portholes.
Hardwood remnants of the lumber ship “Beulah” and the 1833 clipper ship “Star of India” were also part of the design. Before 1973, although service and cuisine were of good quality, eating there was like dining below the decks of a large vessel…
…because the only windows were scattered portholes in the wall. The restaurant had no views of the harbor or the mountains.
It was rebuilt after a fire destroyed it in 1973, and great views from virtually every table now exist.
For early breakfast to late lunch, visit the original Sambos Restaurant on Cabrillo Boulevard, near the harbor.
Opened in this location in 1957, Sambo’s became a chain of restaurants in 1976.
Come visit the waterfront of Santa Barbara for great fun, beautiful surroundings, and pure adventure. Download the tour now to preview your route, decide where you’ll want to spend more time, and then use it as you walk along the waterfront with a personal guide on your phone.
For more great guides check out our Santa Barbara Tours