Stearns Warf in Santa Barbara is a well-known landmark in Santa Barbara. Located in the harbor, it is the longest deep-water pier that connects Los Angeles and San Francisco. Built by a local lumberman, the pier in Santa Barbara is named after the builder John Stearns. The Warf that was built in 1872 is today one of the main attractions on the Santa Barbara boardwalk. There are plenty of fun things to do at Stearns Warf.
About Santa Barbara Boardwalk
Santa Barbara beach boardwalk is today the number 1 attraction in Santa Barbara. Whether you just want to take a walk, shop, dine, or enjoy recreation, the Santa Barbara boardwalk is the place to visit. Take a walk and explore the various shops and buy souvenirs. Take a boat ride to Santa Barbara harbor. Try your hand at fishing. Enjoy delicious seafood and ice cream. Round off the day enjoying a great view of the sunset. There is plenty to do in the Warf area.
Information for those who want to visit Santa Barbara Boardwalk
You can reach Stearns Warf on the Santa Barbara boardwalk by taking the waterfront and downtown shuttles that cost just 50 cents. 141 parking spaces are available for those who want to drive down. These spaces are free for 90 minutes after which the charge is $2.50 per hour subject to a maximum of $20. You can find parking along the waterfront on Cabrillo Boulevard. If you visit the Warf for fishing, do note that it is free. We recommend that you wear flat shoes and avoid heels as they may get stuck in the planks.
What to do when you visit Santa Barbara Boardwalk?
When you visit the Santa Barbara boardwalk there are many things to do and places to explore. Presently, there are around 17 different businesses on the Santa Barbara boardwalk. We have shortlisted ten fun things for you to do when you visit the Santa Barbara boardwalk. These are the best things to do here and you are sure to have a great time here. Our list of the top 10 things to do contain places of interest for shoppers, food lovers, and those who want to enjoy recreation.
Here is the list of the best 10 things to do on the Santa Barbara boardwalk.
1. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center
The sea center at the Santa Barbara boardwalk is where you can explore ocean life at its best. The sea center is open from Wednesdays to Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The ticket is $10 for adults (ages 18 to 64). $8 is the ticket price for teens and seniors. $7 is the ticket price for children (2-12). Children below 2 are not charged any ticket. The sea center that opened in 1986 has a life-size model of a gray whale, which is its main attraction.
The sea center at the Santa Barbara boardwalk allows visitors to meet a variety of marine life including baby sharks, rays, jellies, and coastal sharks. One of the highlights is JELLIES & friends, where visitors can watch the marine life glide and swim through the waters amidst their natural surroundings. Other attractions include the moon pool that allows visitors access to the seawater. There is also an interactive tide pool and a BioLab that helps to understand the life cycle of marine animals.
2. Celebration Cruises at the Santa Barbara Boardwalk
One of the best recreational activities at the Santa Barbara boardwalk is Celebration Cruises. This is a yacht service allowing visitors to travel on a sea cruise in a yacht that can accommodate up to 42 passengers. There are both public cruises as well as private cruises offered. The Lil’ Toot Water taxi is a major attraction as a waterfront taxi offering 15-minute fun boat rides for visitors.
The Celebration Cruises at the Santa Barbara boardwalk from the 15th of February to the 15th of May will allow you to see gray whales as they migrate in the sea. There are a variety of cruises for you to experience. It ranges from a romantic sunset cruise to a happy hour cruise having a great time. You can even charter a private cruise and get your own food and drink. The charter boat pricing starts from $99.
3. Deep Sea Wine Tasting Room
If you a wine aficionado, then don’t miss a visit to the Deep sea wine tasting room when you visit the Santa Barbara boardwalk. The tasting room is part of the Conway family wines. It is a great outdoor venue to taste wine while taking in a great view of the Santa Barbara harbor, the coastline, and the Channel Islands. The public can visit the wine tasting room 11:00 am to 8:00 pm from Sunday to Thursday and from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.
The tasting services, known as tasting flights allow you to enjoy premier wines, including handcrafted wines. There are two offerings. The Signature flight allows you to sample 5 wines for $18, while the Red wine flight permits you to sample 5 wines for $24. The tasting room is also available for private hire. You can host cocktail parties and receptions in the adjoining room at the Santa Barbara boardwalk that can be rented by the hour.
4. The Great Pacific Ice Cream company
Who doesn’t love ice cream? If you want to really enjoy a great experience at the Santa Barbara boardwalk, enjoy a delicious ice cream from the Great Pacific company. There are 32 different flavors of ice cream available at this merchant. All the ice-creams and other offerings like Sherbets are hand-made, which is why visitors flock to the place to taste the authentic ice-creams. It is open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm on all days of the week.
The ice-cream merchant at the Santa Barbara boardwalk offers takeaway only. It is wheelchair accessible making it convenient for the physically disabled. There are tables placed outside the store. You can buy your ice cream and sit down and enjoy them taking in the cool breeze and the scenic views. You can sample the ice-creams before deciding which one you want to buy. Salted caramel, toasted almond coconut, peanut butter chip are some of the popular desserts you can get along with a variety of yogurts.
5. Madame Rosinka
Here is something different among the shops, fishing, and cruises at the Santa Barbara boardwalk. Get your future told by Madame Rosinka. If you were wondering why a fortune-teller is listed, it is because Madame Rosinka is an institution. Serving since 1951, Madame Rosinka is a consultant and spiritual advisor who can help you explore what the future holds for you. She can look into the past and also read your present. Her psychic readings are very popular.
All the readings done are confidential. You can book an appointment in advance or drop into the parlor from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm Thursdays to Mondays. Madame Rosinka’s services include palm readings, tarot readings, and psychic readings. If you are interested to know what the future holds for you, then visit Madame Rosinka at the Santa Barbara boardwalk. She also offers chakra balancing, Reiki energy healing, and custom meditation programs. This is one of the oldest businesses running at Stearns Warf.
6. Char West
Char West at the Santa Barbara boardwalk is a seafood and fast food restaurant. There is seating inside the restaurant, outdoor seating, as well as takeaway available. The family-style restaurant is famous for its fish and chips offerings. It is open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekends. On all other days of the week, it is open from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Visitors dropping into the Santa Barbara boardwalk can enjoy a great meal with a great view.
The pancakes and eggs served in the morning are a popular breakfast and there many people who flock to the place to sample this. Fish and chips is one of the most popular dishes served at this outlet. Some of the other popular items on the menu include Gordo burger, cheeseburger, Tuna melt, Cobb salad, Fish Fojito Burrito, Clam chowder 8 oz bowl, and Guacamole chips and salsa. Try out their cherry cake and the raspberry iced tea.
7. The Harbor Restaurant
The Harbor restaurant at the Santa Barbara boardwalk is one of the most well-known restaurants in the area. It is known as one of the best dining spots in Santa Barbara and is a fun place to visit to enjoy excellent food. The romantic settings with a view of the sea create an ambient environment that allows you a pleasurable dining experience. On weekends, the restaurant opens at 10 am. On weekdays, it opens at 12 noon. The restaurant is open until the closing of all orders.
The restaurant at the Santa Barbara boardwalk has a special kids menu with popular items like fish and chips, hot dog on a stick, mini burger, and peanut butter and jelly. Brunch is served at the restaurant on weekends with fresh oysters, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, soups, salads, and platters on the menu. There are a number of platters on offer with the popular ones being the Santa Barbara platter, International platter, and the Lieutenant’s platter (for groups).
8. Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle
This is the store at the Santa Barbara boardwalk where you can buy fishing bait/tackle, and other products. The store is open on all days of the week. Store timings are 10 am to 4:30 pm from Mondays to Thursdays. On weekends, it is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. When you visit Stearns Warf, fishing is a fun activity that you must try out and this store will get you all that you need.
You do not need a fishing license here, which is a big attraction. Just get all that you need, find a spot, and start fishing. The store offers bait, tackle, fishing rods, crab nets, and other items needed for fishing. You can get these items on a rental basis, have fun fishing, and then return them. You can also buy snacks and drinks while you wait to get your fishing items. SB trolley tickets at the Santa Barbara boardwalk can be bought from this store.
9. Nature’s Own Gallery
When you visit the Santa Barbara boardwalk, you would definitely want to take back some souvenirs with you. Here is a store where you can find all kinds of gift items and souvenirs to help you remember your visit to the Stearns Wharf. The store is open throughout the week to cater to visitors. Its timings from Mondays to Thursdays are 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. On Friday and weekends, it is open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
This family business at the Santa Barbara boardwalk has been in operation since 1976 and is one of the popular places to visit. There is a vast selection of products on sale here. You can buy seashells of different types. These products are great to gift to friends and to keep as a souvenir. There are many other items on sale here, including candles and jewelry made from silver as well as shells.
10. Santa Barbara Shellfish Company
What’s a visit to the Santa Barbara boardwalk without buying crab and shellfish delicacies. The Santa Barbara Shellfish Company is an authentic crab place on the wharf and must be in the places you visit. This outlet has been in existence since 1979 and was initially a station where abalone and lobster were sold. It is now a landmark store for people who want to buy shrimp, seafood, and any other crustaceans.
The store located at the Santa Barbara boardwalk is open from Mondays to Thursdays, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday it is open from 11:00 am until closing of business. Some of the popular items on its menu include New England style clam chowder, Seasonal bisque, Shrimp Louie, Scallops on a Caeser salad, and a wide selection of beers and wines.
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