Experience one of the best views in Santa Barbara
from the rooftop Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center overlooking the harbor
Currently open 10:30 am – 4:30 pm Thurs- Sun
Holiday Hours: We’re closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and the first Friday in August for Fiesta. Please check our calendar for additional closings and private events.
The Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center (OSBVC) is a partnership between National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Channel Islands National Park (CINP), Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM), and the City of Santa Barbara with a purpose to share a wealth of information about the Channel Islands National Park, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and the Los Padres National Forest.
Located in the Waterfront Center of Santa Barbara’s working harbor, the OSBVC offers one of the best views of the city, beaches, harbor, mountains, wharf and islands. When visitors step inside the OSBVC, there is a spectacular mosaic tiled floor showing the Channel Islands and Marine Sanctuary, the Rainbow Bridge legend, and fauna & flora native to the islands. An underwater kelp forest mural illustrates the marine life that inhabits our park and marine sanctuary, and the outside deck has several interpretive displays about the park, the sanctuary, and the kelp forest.
Our well-informed volunteer staff can provide more information about the Channel Islands, Whale Watching, Coastal Cruises, Tours, Fishing, Rentals, and more. Maps and brochures of things to do around the harbor are available.
Volunteer Opportunities (click link)
The OSBVC is staffed by dozens of dedicated volunteers who provide friendly hospitality and a wealth of information for visitors. Some of the benefits that come with being a volunteer at the OSBVC are:
- Working in one of the best viewing spots in Santa Barbara
- Training sessions about Channel Islands National Park, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Los Padres National Forest and local outdoor activities.
- An Adventure Pass from the Los Padres National Forest after 100 continuous hours of service.
- Recognition at annual receptions.
- Educational materials and posters from the park, sanctuary and forest.
The center’s Volunteer Coordinator provides initial training. This training usually takes about four hours and, upon completion, the new volunteer will feel comfortable staffing the center. New volunteers will be asked to commit to one shift per week.
Individuals wishing to volunteer should complete a volunteer application and can contact SBMM’s Volunteer Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org.