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Santa Barbara Historical Museum

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Address: 136 E de La Guerra St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101-2205
Phone Number:
+1 805-966-1601
12:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun 12:00 - 17:00
Tue - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is located in the heart of downtown...

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara just two blocks off of State Street. Our galleries may be modest in size, but they are packed with history! Santa Barbara's 450 years of history are evident in the many artifacts, paintings, photgraphs, and films that make up The Story of Santa Barbara. In addition to the permanent collection, our Sala Gallery is a rotating exhibition space which features a new exhibit every four months. There's always something new at the museum! The Museum is also home to two historic adobes - one that was built in 1836, and Casa Covarrubias which was built in 1817 and even served as the Capital of Alta California for 2 months! The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is located on the corner of De la Guerra and Santa Barbara streets, and we have a free parking lot next to the musuem entrance on De la Guerra St. Open 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Saturday and 12pm-5pm Sunday (closed Mondays)There is a suggested $7 donation

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 37 reviews
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  • 7
    Very good
  • 5
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Beautiful Wedding Location

Was able to enjoy a beautiful wedding reception this past weekend at this amazing location. A bit unconventional but one of the best wedding locations I have personally... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
San Francisco, California
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37 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 31: English reviews
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Was able to enjoy a beautiful wedding reception this past weekend at this amazing location. A bit unconventional but one of the best wedding locations I have personally attended.Convenient location just a short taxi ride away from beachfront hotels. Plenty of public parking as well.

Thank pkovan
Annapolis, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 March 2017 via mobile

Returning to Santa Barbara this month, my wife and I were eager to return to the SBHistorical Museum - as we personally have found visits and the exhibitions valuable to appreciate not only the vibrant history but the of contributing families and businesses over the past centuries but new discoveries, as well. In the past year, a renovation and enhancement... More 

Thank pvwz64
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviewed 14 March 2017

Can't visit SB without going to this museum. Small but it gets the essence of the history and spirit of Santa Barbara. Rotating exhibits keep it fresh. Dreamy wedding spot.

Thank Hfamily42015
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2017

Across the street from the Praesidio this is an easy place to miss. Well presented local artifacts. Don;t miss the courtyard. Free admission (donations solicited).

Thank gordon b
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2017

Happened to wander into this place, and very glad we did. I am a student of history, but I learned A LOT about the Spanish conquest of the New World as well as cartography during a 200 year period. Additionally, the discussions of early families of the area was very helpful in understanding the growth of the city.

Thank HMS59
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
46 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2017

This is a small museum. When saw an exhibit about Spain's influence in the US which was interesting. There are photos and panels that tell the story of the Spanish settling much of the southern part of the US.

Thank kimberly t
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
96 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2017

Located in downtown Santa Barbara, this small museum is strategically located within easy walking distance of the De la Guerra adobe and the reconstructed Presidio. The ambitious historical coverage concentrates on the new world exploration and settlement in the 17th and 18th centuries and continues to include glimpses of Santa Barbara's development through the 19th and early 20th centuries. It... More 

Thank WanderJenn
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviewed 5 January 2017

I've been a resident in Santa Barbara since 1977 and still find this a refreshingly fun way to learn about the place that I live. If you are visiting, getting married, celebrating an anniversary or have other special ties to Santa Barbara you owe it to yourself to learn some of the things that make our area unique. The SB... More 

Thank Dan F
Taree, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2016

Like other reviewers we stumbled on this Museum as we walked around this area of downtown Santa Barbara. It was a great find. As others have also noted we were there alone which was wonderful but also kind of a shame because it is such a great small museum. Every exhibit was really interesting which is a bit unusual in... More 

2 Thank Wally194
Allentown/Lehigh Valley
Level Contributor
91 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2016

Sort of stumbled on this place. Very sophisticated, interesting and intimate museum on the history of the city through various periods.with a widede variety of artifacts and photos, A great introduction to the area.

Thank pkrajsa

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