We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 2559 Puesta Del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105-2936
Phone Number:
+1 805-682-4711
10:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 233 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 131
  • 60
    Very good
  • 19
  • 3
  • 1
Fantastic place to visit

The "Butterflies Alive" and the "T-Rex named Sue" were my two favorite exhibits in 2016. The Museum was also hosting a pottery exhibit and several other fantastic things to see... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Province of Rome, Italy
Add Photo Write a Review

233 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 214: English reviews
Province of Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The "Butterflies Alive" and the "T-Rex named Sue" were my two favorite exhibits in 2016. The Museum was also hosting a pottery exhibit and several other fantastic things to see and do. A truly wonderful way to spend a day or more.

Thank scary639
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level Contributor
47 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2017 via mobile

It was with high expectations that we visited the SB Museum of Natural History yesterday. When the cashier looked at me with surprise that I was paying for three adults, that should have been a warning. Inside, we were surrounded by literally hundreds of screaming children. The exhibits were tired, dusty, and simply sad. Santa Barbara deserves a much better... More 

3 Thank GrandJourneys
SBNature, Manager at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, responded to this review

Hi there, we're very sorry to hear you had a poor experience. The Museum is very sought after for school field trips to help educate students about the Chumash, local marine life, and their natural surroundings. We are a 100 year old institution and realize are in need of some refreshing- and after a long wait, it just so happens... More 

Level Contributor
91 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2017 via mobile

We're from out of state and came here with family and young kids. We loved it. From the ginormous whale out in front to the different buildings with new adventures inside. It was worth the trip to visit in the morning and then venture to other attractions after. We can during the butterfly and bird exhibits that displayed a large... More 

Thank Danielle C
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
115 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2017

We decided to go the museum because we had planned a quick vacation in Santa Barbara and the weather was looking grim. The museum itself sits up in the hills behind the Mission. It is composed a variety of California Mission buildings with lovely open courtyards. Very kid friendly. The exhibits are a bit dated, but we spend a few... More 

Thank StaceyAN
Level Contributor
122 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2017 via mobile

What a great museum to visit on a California winter day. The outdoor parts of the grounds add 100% bonus to the exhibits. Nestled along a small babbling creek with plenty to do, I'm glad I was recommended to visit here.

Thank redneckITengineer
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2017

Took the grandkids aged 1 and 3. Loved the kids' room. Could have spent hours there. Favorite was the bird room. Could have spent the day in there.

Thank SaraD656
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviewed 18 January 2017

Kids and any age can spend a few good hours here. Very nice environment to learn new stuff. I love when they bring the butterflies.

Thank Mihaela C
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2017

Our Natural History History Museum is a great, hands-on small museum in a spectacular setting inside and out. Be sure to wander all the halls (Native American Chumash and flora and fauna - love the birds and insects) as well as the special exhibits - the whale skeleton, butterflies alive and planetarium, and outside grounds. Several Arts, Wine and Cultural... More 

Thank Lisa M
Level Contributor
111 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2016 via mobile

We lived the museum! We arrived Tuesday around 1PM, just as the school kids were leaving. Perfect!! My husband is an austringer, so the visiting birds of prey exhibit was perfect!! Love the local Chumas Indian artifacts & history.

Thank Hairup
Level Contributor
272 reviews
125 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2016

small museum that houses a lot of artifacts and fossils. A fee to enter. get ready to spend about 2 hours tops. another fee to watch the stargazing film.


Travellers who viewed Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History also viewed


Been to Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Ventura, California
over a year ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?