Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Logbook



Featuring Four New Exhibits and Covid Safety Protocols; Museum Store and Outdoor Visitor Center Also Open
Since the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) closed its doors on March 13, 2020, the staff have been planning for the day they could reopen. That day comes almost one year to the date, on Thursday, March 18, 2021.

“It has been a long time, but we have not been idle,” said Greg Gorga, SBMM’s Executive Director. “Along with new exhibits, we developed virtual programs that people of all ages can enjoy at home and established reopening protocols and precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy inside the Museum. As we reopen, visitors will see four completely new exhibits, including Arthur Beaumont: Art of the Sea (through May 31), Santa Cruz Acoustic Range Facility (SCARF), On this Spot in History with Erin Graffy de Garcia, and Love Letters to the Sea.”

New Hours and Reopening Schedule beginning March 18, 2021
The Museum is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays only through March 31. Public entry expands to Thursdays through Sundays beginning on April 1. 

Special for Members: From March 18 to 31, Museum entry on Thursdays and Fridays is reserved for Museum members, volunteers, and donors. New members are welcome to take advantage of this special offer by joining at

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Indoor Exhibits:
March 18 – 31:         Members Only: Thursdays & Fridays: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

                                 All Welcome: Saturdays & Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Beginning April 1:    All Welcome: Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Museum Store: Thursdays through Sundays 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center (OSBVC): Thursdays through Sundays 10:30 a.m.-4:30p.m.

Safety & Health Protocols: What to expect during a visit

Because SBMM wants people to visit the Museum safely and with confidence in its health precautions, the staff have implemented the following Safety and Health Protocols:

  • Admission will be limited to six (6) groups of nine (9) or fewer people at any one time in the Museum itself, and a total of six (6) persons in the Museum Store.
  • ALL SBMM staff and volunteers have been trained on new safety and health protocols.
  • SBMM reserves the right to deny entrance to anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19.
  • All visitors, age 3 and older, must wear masks or face shields at all times inside the Museum, Museum Store, and on the 4th floor. The Museum Store offers disposable masks for those who do not have them.
  • Groups should remain together and stay six (6) feet apart from other visitors.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are located at guest entrances and in high contact areas.
  • Reusable bags will not be allowed in the Museum Store.
  • For children and families, SBMM kiosk attendants will have Treasure Maps with age-appropriate questions about the Museum. Children who answer the questions will receive a sticker and paper hat to take home. Coloring books/sheets with crayons will be available as well, including materials for our Love Letters to the Sea Interactive exhibit. All supplies will be new and single-use, and we will encourage visitors to take them home.
  • Maritime on the Move: Santa Barbara Harbor activity guides (in English and Spanish) will be available for visitors who are interested in an outdoor adventure. Visitors can go on a one-mile walk around the Harbor and explore these educational themes: history of the Harbor, recreational activities, diversity of life, and preservation of the Santa Barbara Channel. Activity guides can be found here.

Why Visit SBMM Now?
Four new exhibits are now on view:

  • The acclaimed visiting exhibit Arthur Beaumont: Art of the Sea—53 paintings by the US Navy’s “Artist of the Fleet” that document American naval history—is on display through May 31. The artist’s son will also speak at the Museum on April 15 at 7 p.m. (, providing insight into his father’s work.
  • Santa Cruz Acoustic Range Facility (SCARF) describes the work of a General Motors Defense Research Lab located on Santa Cruz Island, from 1966-1990, which developed an underwater acoustic measuring system to track naval vessels and measure their noise profiles.
  • On this Spot in History with Erin Graffy de Garcia tells little known stories about Santa Cruz Island, Castle Rock, and the Harbor.
  • Love Letters to the Sea provides a “crafty” way for visitors of all ages to express what the sea means to them by creating artistic letters and envelopes that can be sent to environmental leaders.


Follow SBMM on Facebook for daily news and entertainment and check out the website at to register for upcoming programs, watch all previous lectures or find hands-on activities for children and adults at SBMM At Home, from coloring pages and maritime art projects to learning to tie knots, discovering what early sailors ate, and exploring their own neighborhoods (

Since 2000, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum has featured many artifacts and stories to share the history of the Santa Barbara Channel with more than 40,000 visitors annually and provides year-round experiential maritime history and marine science education for local youth. Featuring the impressive First-Order Fresnel Lighthouse Lens from Point Conception, SBMM’s current exhibits explore the History of Oil in Santa Barbara Channel & Chumash Use of Asphaltum, the Honda Disaster, and Wives and Daughters: Keepers of the Light.

SBMM is located at the historic Santa Barbara Harbor at 113 Harbor Way, Suite 190, Santa Barbara, CA 93109.  Visit or call (805) 962-8404 for details.

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