Experience 13,000 Years
of Maritime History & Human
Interaction with the Sea

Engage with the Museum through Events, Lectures, and Activities for the Whole Family

Santa Barbara is Known as the Birthplace of Deepwater Commercial Diving

diving helmets permanent exhibit

Welcome to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is one of the premier venues for education, information, and lectures about the Santa Barbara Channel, the Channel Islands National Park, and 13,000 years of human interaction with the sea. Whether you're interested in historical subjects such as the Chumash and their settlements along the Santa Barbara coast, or more contemporary nautical topics such as environmental preservation, marine life, surfing, and sustainability, we offer something interesting for everyone. We also have lots of fun and interactive exhibits for kids and families.

We're conveniently located in the beautiful Santa Barbara Harbor next to several shops, restaurants, boat rides, kayak rentals, and various activities for the whole family. Come on down and make a day of it. You'll be glad you did.

Upcoming Exhibits, Lectures, and Events


170 Years of Harbor History

Archival Photographs From the Permanent Collection
September 15, 2023 - January 21, 2024

Make Art at Santa Barbara Maritme Museum

Come Make Art at SBMM!

Every Saturday from 10:00 - 2:00 pm.

Ages 4-11. Click here for details.


All The Life We Cannot See: Marine Microbes and the Health of our Oceans

Thursday, October 19, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.


Latest Museum News & Updates

Charitable Planning Ideas at Any Stage
By Jessica Tade | September 1, 2023

As we grow older, thinking about legacy and what is important to us allows us to set charitable goals.  Here are some general considerations and a few charitable giving ideas…

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Welcome to Our Newest Flagship Society Members John and Tracie Doordan!
By Jessica Tade | July 28, 2023

We offer a warm welcome to SBMM Board Member John Doordan and his wife Tracie, who have recently joined the Flagship Society by making a provision for SBMM in their…

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What is a Donor Advised Fund?
By Jessica Tade | June 28, 2023

By Denise Stevens Donor advised funds are the fastest growing charitable giving vehicle in the United States because they are one of the easiest and most tax-advantageous ways to give…

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Don Barthelmess, Tom Elliott, and Chad Makela Join Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Board
By Jessica Tade | June 27, 2023

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of three new board members – Don Barthelmess, Tom Elliott, and Chad Makela. Additionally, Chuck Wilson assumes the position…

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Meet Douglas Washington – SBMM’s Newest Flagship Society Member
By Jessica Tade | June 1, 2023

Originally from Los Angeles, Douglas Washington has lived in Santa Barbara for 20 years. As a youth, he joined the Navy right out of high school, ultimately serving in Vietnam.…

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Did You Know?

Just up the coast from Santa Barbara, at Honda Point, a navigational mishap resulted almost a dozen new navy destroyers running aground on the evening of September 8, 1923. Seven ships were left on the rocks and declared a total loss.


Support the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Thank you for considering a donation and Membership to SBMM.

Our commitment to the community is to showcase our rich maritime history, present inspirational programs, and prompt insightful discussions about the future of our coastal community.