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 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


The Lure of Lighthouses & Dancing Waves

Photography by Dan Merkel 

January 26 -August 27, 2023

Rick Kennedy lecture SBMM

“When Science and Art Met in the Coast Survey of the Santa Barbara Channel: 1849-1860”
With Professor Rick Kennedy

Thursday, June 15, 2023, at 7:00 p.m.

Kelly Clause at SBMM

Kelly Clause Art Show & Sale

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m on the
museum’s patio overlooking the harbor.

The Birthplace of Deepwater Diving Technology

Very few people know it, but Santa Barbara, California, is recognized by most international diving historians as the birthplace of deepwater diving technology. During the 1960’s, many of the Santa Barbara diving industry divers began a rapid transition from air diving to deepwater oxy-helium commercial diving. lifepsychiatric.com

Learn more about how mixed gas breathing apparatus developed in Santa Barbara was used by divers to rapidly expand the safe depth range for offshore exploration.


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.