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Key Info

217 Stearns Wharf

Price & Hours

24/7 daily


Free, Shopping, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Stearns Wharf, located next to the harbor, offers plenty of diversions, including restaurants, a shellfish market, a bait and tackle shop, shops, a Channels Islands exhibit hall and a marine museum, not to mention great views. Constructed in 1872, it became the longest deep-water wharf between San Pedro and San Francisco and is the oldest working wooden wharf in California.

Recent visitors said the wharf is a fun place to visit, with plenty to see and do. Even if you're not in the mood for seafood or souvenir shopping, reviewers said it's a great place for a stroll.

The wharf is located at the end of State Street and adjacent to the harbor. There is free parking for 90 minutes; after that it costs $2.50 per hour. For more information, visit the wharf's website.

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Time to Spend
#1 East Beach

There are four major beaches in Santa Barbara: Leadbetter, Arroyo Burro, West and East. While Leadbetter has the harbor, Arroyo Burro is best for travelers with dogs and West Beach is home to the fireworks on the Fourth of July, East Beach is the best stretch to catch some rays without being mobbed by crowds. 

The shoreline may still fill up more on the weekends, but East Beach is a bit more removed from State Street and the downtown area than the other beaches, offering more space to stretch out or take a walk along the sandy shores. You may have to protect yourself from the occasional rogue volleyball though, as there are more than a dozen sandy courts here. 

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