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.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 1130 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone Number:
+1 805-963-4364
11:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Tue - Wed 11:00 - 17:00
Thu 11:00 - 20:00
Fri - Sun 11:00 - 17:00

This museum, founded in 1941, houses a prestigious and varied collection of...

This museum, founded in 1941, houses a prestigious and varied collection of modern and ancient art plus a special gallery for children.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 320 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 159
  • 111
    Very good
  • 30
  • 3
  • 2
An excellent museum

We visited the museum while it was undergoing renovation and re-hanging. But the "highlights" and one special show were still very good.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Albany, New York
Add Photo Write a Review

320 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 305: English reviews
Albany, New York
Level Contributor
280 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We visited the museum while it was undergoing renovation and re-hanging. But the "highlights" and one special show were still very good.

Thank robin082
Culver City, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is an amazing Art Museum. For the size of the town, it is really quite extraordinary, the exhibits they get here. I have had wonderful docent tours and learned a huge amount. I brought a rather well known art dealer here from New York and he was really quite amazed by the place. Definitely worth seeing.

Thank julian h
Gloucestershire, England
Level Contributor
332 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 370 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We didn't know that most of the museum is closed for renovations, but since we were here, we made the most of our visit and began with a delicious lunch in the friendly cafe. What a great start! Suitably refreshed and fortified, we stepped inside the gallery proper and were captivated by the first two exhibits which we encountered: the... More 

Thank elegantraveller
Level Contributor
184 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is a small museum that is undergoing a major renovation project. The collection is very diverse but quite limited (at least what was on display last week). Before you attend, you may want to ask about the status of the renovation. Santa Barbara is a fantastic town and I would expect the renovated museum... More 

Thank DiverDaveMinneapolis
Turlock, California
Level Contributor
304 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2017 via mobile

We happened to be in town on the 1st Thursday of the month. On this day they have an Art Walk at the Museums on State Street for free on the 1st Thursday of every month.They had music entertainment. We spent about an 1 1/2 inside. Really beautiful paintings.

1 Thank Tcard2013
Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
59 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2017

We stopped at this museum before leaving Santa Barbara. A lovely building to explore art in. Admission is free because they are renovating. We stayed a little over an hour and thought they had a good collection. Not overwhelming like the large museums but still had interesting paintings, photos and sculptures. Definitely worth a visit if you're looking to do... More 

1 Thank needmorevacationdayz
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2016 via mobile

I visited this museum on 29 dec 2016, we spent around 3+ hours here. Paintings really stir your soul. You will find paintings from Van Gogh, Monet .. And many other great masters. I saw video art also, there was a kind gentleman in the gallery who was very eager to talk about art and displays, he made our visit... More 

1 Thank Sherry T
Level Contributor
92 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2016

The permanent collection is really exceptional for a smaller city. However, ongoing renovations do limit what can be displayed at any given time. There is currently no charge for admission. Despite the limited exhibition space during the project, the museum is definitely worth visiting.

Thank cassandra2009
Level Contributor
75 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 November 2016

pity it is under renovation but some superb art. Monet and Chagall defnitely a plus nice british exhibit

Thank franchescaG
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2016

Small but interesting collection,mostly 19th & early 20th century European,smattering of Indian subcontinent and Chinese and Japanese pieces.

Thank Katherine H

Travellers who viewed Santa Barbara Museum of Art also viewed


Been to Santa Barbara Museum of Art? 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

Questions? Get answers from Santa Barbara Museum of Art 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?