Some more dubious maritime lore maintains that barnacle geese are actually fish, that a "12-footer" refers to maximum onboard shoes, or that conch shells are actually eggs containing newborn oceans. Separate fluid fact from fiction with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a one-year family membership (a $55 value) or individual membership (a $40 value) to Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, located on the water's edge of Santa Barbara Harbor.
Appropriately perched on the expansive seashore, the myriad exhibits of Santa Barbara Maritime Museum offer an albatross-eyed glimpse at the long local history of oceanic activities. New exhibits for April and May include an exploration of the shipwrecked Gold Rush-era steamship Winfield Scott, as well as The Spill's Broad Reach, an environmentalist retrospective on Santa Barbara's 1969 oil disaster that in many ways sparked the modern green movement. The museum's historic fleet of sturdy schooners and ballin' trawlers have parted waves for nearly a century, showcasing the eternal symbioses of man and sea. On Surf Film Saturdays, visitors can take in a ten-hanging flick at the high-definition Munger Theater.
In addition to nearly 365 salt-soaked days of edifying fun (admission normally $2–$7), membership includes a 10% discount at the gift shop, advance notice for special events, a subscription to Maritime Currents, the museum's amphibious newsletter, and a complimentary full-size pocket-anchor.
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
In 1917, the Ranger was a sport-fishing yacht—the first built on the West Coast—that hosted celebrities trying their luck at snagging tuna, swordfish, and other swimmers. Flash forward nearly a century, and the Ranger is now a lure, one of several vintage boats that entice visitors to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Inside a former Naval Reserve building, the museum traces the history of the California Coast seas, from cannons to seaplanes and surfing to the environment. The Munger Theater brings the sea to life with films that could feature maritime history or a trip around the coast, and lectures and other events further enrich the experience.
113 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, California 93109Get Directions