Santa Barbara Museums and Galleries
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State St., Downtown
Santa Barbara is a hotbed of creatives, and so it's not too shocking that the Santa Barbara Museum of Art has a deep and wonderful collection: Established in 1941, they have everything from Chagalls and Kandinskys to Rauschenbergs and Monets. But that's just a backdrop to excellent lectures, exhibits, and events, as well as lots of activities geared toward kids: There are after school classes, along with Thursday and Sunday workshops where little ones can roll up their sleeves and learn how to paint and draw.
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
2559 Puesta del Sol, Mission Canyon
Housed in Spanish Revival-style buildings on an extensive property with lush gardens, the museum is the home of an extensive collection of artifacts including a fantastic bird collection, a 72-foot Blue Whale skeleton that greets you upon entrance, and a planetarium. A relatively small museum, it’s not overwhelming, and perfect for a visit with kids. The Natural History museum also owns the Sea Center, which is located on the water and worth a visit on another day.
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