10 Ways to Enjoy Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara

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Stearns Wharf
Source: Brian

Probably a number one tourist place in Santa Barbara, Stearns Wharf offers you wonderful views, fine restaurants, great fun and recreation. Choose some of the ways to enjoy this famous pier.

1. Stroll along the Wharf

You can just take a walk along this old Wharf and everywhere you look, you will get breathtaking views of the magnificent East Beach and Santa Barbara city with the wonderful Santa Ynez Mountains at the back. The great dolphin fountain welcomes you there and all along the Wharf there are stops with plaques explaining the wildlife. You can learn some facts about the dense kelp forests found below the Wharf, or about the beautiful big blue heron birds you can see relaxing in the sun all over the place. When you need a rest, go to a restaurant, or just sit on a bench and wait for the unforgettable sunset.


  • Name: Stearns Wharf
  • Address: 219 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara
  • Opening hour: 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m
  • Good for Kids: Yes
  • Website: stearnswharf

2. The Ty Warner Sea Center

If you want to learn how science can be fun and enjoy some nature wonders don’t miss the Museum of Natural History Sea Center on Stearns Wharf. It is suitable for all ages and it will inspire your passion for the wildlife. Here you can enjoy great interactive exhibitions having the opportunity to experience the work of a scientist, have close encounters with some of the sea creatures, like sharks in a pool, crawl through a tunnel inside a surge tank and get a different view of the ocean life. Your children will especially love this engaging and educational center.


  • Name: The Ty Warner Sea Center
  • Address: 211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Opening hour: 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
  • Good for Kids: Yes

3. Fishing at Stearns Wharf

For those who like fishing at the sea, the Wharf is a perfect spot. After a nice walk along the popular pier, stop at a first-rate bait and tackle shop, Mike’s Bait & Tackle at its end. They have been there for years now and know everything not only about fishing, but also about the Wharf. After you take all you need for a good catch, go for it. People mostly go fishing out towards the end, since the coastal part of the Wharf is a bit limited by shops, but you can still find some open spaces there, if you want. Enjoy your catch!


  • Name: Mike’s Bait & Tackle
  • Address: 230 Stearns Wharf #B, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Opening hour: 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
  • Good for Kids: Yes
  • Website: stearnswharfbaitandtackle

4. Sunset Cruises

If you want to get the best view of Santa Barbara, you must see it from the water. So, when you visit the old wooden pier and explore everything it has to offer, you can choose to go on a sunset cruise on a yacht and see it from the see. Sunset cruises from Stearns Wharf are offered daily and they are a great option to spend some time with your friends or families, or have a date enjoying the stunning views of the coast while sipping your favorite appetizers.


  • Name: Sunset Cruises
  • Address: 237 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara
  • Opening hour: 9.00 p.m. – 18.00 p.m.
  • Price: $40.00 for 1.5 hours

5. Paddling in Santa Barbara

If you’ve never done paddle boarding before, with its gorgeous scenery and wonderful weather Santa Barbara is perfect for your first try. Meet the friendly instructors, take a quick tutorial and set off on your excursion. Remember, this is a very busy harbor and it is very important to be most careful. Just follow the regulations and rules when you paddle and have great fun and excitement while you explore the harbor, Stearns Wharf and the amazing East Beach.


  • Name: Paddling in Santa Barbara
  • Address: 219 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93109
  • Price: $25 per Hour/$100 per Day

6. Deep Sea Tasting Room

On a prime position on Stearns Wharf you will find the best place to drink and savor the finest wines while enjoying the spectacular view from the deck overlooking the ocean. The wine tasting room provides 360 degree views of the Santa Barbara Harbor, ocean coast and Channel Islands. If you happen to be in Santa Barbara and have a good reason to organize a private party, this amazing place hosts different private events and celebrations with live music, too.


  • Name: Deep Sea Tasting Room
  • Address: 217 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Opening hour: 12.00 p.m. – 7.00 p.m.
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
  • Good for Kids: No

7. Madame Rosinka

If you are not a skeptic, and you believe that someone can answer some of the questions about past, present or future, then consider visiting Madame Rosinka in her small tower studio on Stearns Wharf. She’s been there since 1951, and is a well-known licensed spiritual counselor who reads the past, present and future, even gives some spiritual advice. Discretion is guaranteed.


  • Name: Madame Rosinka
  • Address: 221 Stearns Wharf #B, Santa Barbara
  • Contact: (805) 965-2271

8. Water Taxi Ride

As you stroll along the Wharf, you can have fun seeing how passengers from the large cruise ships are taken to the land by water taxis. They are so busy when liners come to Santa Barbara. But when there are no cruise ships, anybody can enjoy a short taxi ride from the Wharf to the harbor. It is a pleasant experience and the crew always have something interesting to tell about the amazing yachts, harbor and Wharf. You will wish the trip lasted longer.


  • Name: Lil’ Toot
  • Price: One-way Fare: $5.00 for Adults, $1.00 for Children
  • Contact: (888) 316-9363

9. Specialty Shops

As one of the most visited attractions in Santa Barbara, Stearns Wharf offers many specialty shops. Take you children to the fine candy shop and choose some of the hundreds of most delicious candies or enjoy sitting on a bench behind the ice cream parlor eating some really yummy ice cream brands. If you are looking for some gifts for friends back home, don’t worry. You will find perfect and unique ones at the Wharfs’ gift shops. They sell almost everything, from interior design pieces to jewelry, bags, wallets, toys and beautiful art crafts. Just pick the right one.


  • Name: Specialty Shops
  • Address: 219 Stearns Wharf #B, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Contact: (805) 962-6010

10. Food & Drink

When you get hungry, there are many options on the Wharf. All the restaurants offer great food with best views in the area making you feel really positive and cheerful. Try some fish and chips at Char West, go to the excellent Harbor Restaurant and enjoy some steaks, ribs, fine cocktails and wines, or just take a char-burger at Longboards Grill. Here at Stearns Wharf, fishermen bring their catches daily and this brings a completely new meaning to fresh seafood. So maybe you should opt for the Shellfish Company and enjoy the savor of the great seafood. Bon appetite!


  • Name: Various Restaurants
  • Address: Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
  • Opening hour: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

When you visit Santa Barbara, don’t miss the chance to visit this great landmark and discover why it is such a significant part of its history and charm.

Have a good trip and travel!

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North America, Santa Barbara County, State of California, U.S.A.