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U.S. Travel — California
Santa Barbara Attractions
Stearns Wharf
— Water Taxi
— Parade of Lights & Fireworks

Santa Barbara Wharf, Santa Barbara, Southern California

Santa Barbara's
Top Tourist Attraction
Stearns Wharf is Santa Barbara's top tourist attraction. The world-famous wharf is the city's most visited landmark, drawing over six million visitors a year.

Home to little shops, harbor view restaurants and bars — and a wine-tasting room, the historic wharf is a fun place to walk, hang out and people-watch. It's about a mile long — and offers fabulous views of the ocean, beach and Santa Barbara coastline.

The views are particularly stunning during sunset and a full moon. During our last visit, one night after dinner, we encountered a dolphin and sea lion swimming near the wharf — you could just make out their form and sounds as they swam in the moonlight.



The main entrance to the wharf is located at the end of State Street, off Cabrillo Blvd — look for the large Dolphin Fountain.

Built in 1872, today it's the oldest and longest working wooden wharf in California.

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Santa Barbara Water Taxi

Santa Barbara Water Taxi
— Wharf to Harbor

Santa Barbara Water Taxi

Hop aboard "Lil' Toot" — a Santa Barbara tradition since 2003 — and see Santa Barbara's Waterfront via Water Taxi.

Half-hourly Water Taxi trips run between the harbor and Stearns Wharf daily (weather-permitting). Fun for kids and adults alike!

Summer: 12 noon-6pm
Winter: 12 noon-sunset


Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
— Ty Warner Sea Center

Ty Warner Sea Center is located on Stearns Wharf at the end of State Street.

Operated by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Ty Warner Sea Center is an interactive marine education facility, featuring interactive exhibits, live tidepool animal encounters and more — fun for kids!

Sea Center Hours
Open daily 10am-5pm

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve at 3pm, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.

More Info
Ty Warner Sea Center

 

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Stearns Wharf
Restaurants, Bars & Grills

Santa Barbara Shellfish Co.
- 805-966-6676

We really like this place... and judging from the lines out the door, we're not the only ones! It's very small and extremely casual — located at the end of the wharf. Counter seating inside overlooking the kitchen and wharf; limited seating outside, overlooking the ocean. Fresh and delicious seafood — famous for their Crab and Lobster dishes. Large fish tanks filled with Spider Lobsters. Reasonable prices and friendly service.

The Harbor Restaurant
- 805-963-3311
Wine Spectator Award Winning Restaurant.

Longboards Beach Bar & Grill
— Casual-style restaurant, located upstairs from the Harbor Restaurant. Fun outdoor deck overlooks the ocean.

Minnow Cafe - 805-962-6315
Tiny cafe just off main wharf

Moby Dick - 805-965-0549

Stearns Wharf Vintners
— Enjoy wine-tasting and casual foods. Outdoor deck overlooks the ocean. Live entertainment.


Holiday Parade of Lights
and Fireworks Show

Every December, visitors and locals flock to the Waterfront to see the lighted boats and yachts participate in the Annual Parade of Lights and Fireworks Show — Stearns Wharf and the Harbor Breakwater provide the best views for this FUN event.

 

More Info
Stearns Wharf

 

 

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