Field Notes

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum displays informative exhibitions about coastal history which include light houses, yacht clubs, and sea voyages. You will enjoy the interactive learning stations which explore many themes including the historic meaning of prominent designs and sailor tattoos.

Richard Henry Dana is honored with his California voyage that brought him into the harbor. His journal entry dated Tuesday, January 13, 1835 stated: “We made the land at Point Conception… the point of Santa Barbara, took up oil which we were bound, lying about fifty miles to the southeast of this point, we continued sailing down the coast during the day and the following night, and on the next morning.

On the whole coast of California there was not a lighthouse, a beacon, or a buoy, and the charts were made up from old and disconnected surveys by British, Russian, and Mexican voyagers. Birds of prey and passage swooped and dived about us, wild beasts ranged through the oak groves… herds of deer came to the water’s edge.”

While you’re at the museum, visit the Rum Runners, Sailors, and Prohibition exhibit will be open until October 20, 2019.

The SBMM is located at 113 Harbor Way, Ste 190 Santa Barbara, CA 93109. Call 805-962-8404 or visit for more information. Their hours are 10 am – 5 pm Monday-Friday and Saturdays from 9 am – 3 pm. They are closed on Wednesdays. Be sure to visit their charming gift shop located on the first floor!

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