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Review of Stearns Wharf, from Yelp
This is a beautiful wharf in Santa Barbara. It's pretty darn big! They have parking and first 90 mins are free and then $2.50 each hour after. It's an older wharf but beautiful ! It has a walking path on it to if you don't wanna drive on it. It has quite a few shops on it. A couple gift shops , candy shop , ice cream shop , a gem/rocks shop, and there is a restroom which is nice . It also has I believe 4 or 5 restaurants. The Harbor , Moby Dicks , shoreline grille and Char West and Santa Barbara Shelfish Company . So basically had anything you want from hamburgers , fish n chips , seafood , sweets , steaks , fish and cocktails . All the views are really nice too . It also has a fishing shop so you can rent poles if you wanna fish off the pier. It's $10 for a reel but it also has The Sea Center which is pretty cool . It's $10 for admission and it has sharks , starfish , sea anemone and other types of sea life you can see and touch , as well as some other pretty cool exhibits . Definitely worth the price of admission and you can easily spend about an hour in there. If you're feeling like take a cruise or whale watching and getting a sea taxi to the harbor, you can stop by the celebration cruises both and book any of them . I did the whale watching and it was amazing !!! You go on a huge ship and go out about 4 miles into the ocean and if you're lucky like I was you get to see some whales and dolphins . You can also buy drinks and snacks while you're on board . It's $50 to $55 for 3 hours . Such a good time . This is definitely a prime destination spot if you're visiting Santa Barbara !!
My girls and I enjoyed our walk to Stearns Wharf. We had dinner at one of the restaurants and checked out the touristy shop.
Great place to watch the sunset from the pier. Originally completed in 1872, this was the longest deep-water pier between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Since that time, it has been plagued by several natural disasters ranging from raging storms that have washed away major sections of the wharf to the big earthquake in 1923 to a devastating fire in 1973. Although it is not used for cargo anymore, it is a great place to walk, relax or grab a bite to eat. We enjoyed eating fish enchiladas sitting on the dock while we watched the boats go by, the seagulls dive for fish and the sun set. Bonus: you can drive on the wharf and park for free for the first 90 minutes. Each additional hour is just $2.50.
90 min parking free, $2.50 every hour after that. Ample parking on the pier. Cute shops to walk around and visit. Great restaurants to eat at and great scenery!
Beautiful and touristy boardwalk! I enjoyed strolling around here especially during sunset because the view is amazing.
This pier is a huge touristy spot and rightfully so. The views off of it are beautiful and it is a nice stroll. There is a ton of people watching, shops, restaurants, and a view of some seabirds. Perfect for walking off a little lunch from a nearby restaurant before going to taste more wine.
It was our second time visiting Stearns wharf, last time we stayed at a boutique hotel which is very close by. This is a smaller pier compare to the major ones in LA. And we could just park our cars alongside the pier which was different too. There are some restaurants and shops but we never tried anything except Deep Sea tasting room. The views are gorgeous especially the weather is mostly sunny and nice in Santa Barbara. There isn't much to do at this wharf except walk around and take some photos. But it's still nice to stop by since Santa Barbara isn't big so you always have time to check everything out!
We chose Santa Barbara for our anniversary because we heard it was very dog friendly and we like to take our fur baby with us everywhere. We enjoyed our stay in the city and Sterns Wharf is listed among the top "things to do/see" on pretty much every website. Luckily, our hotel was within walking distance so we were able to enjoy the wharf during the day and the evening. I know there are tons of 5 star reviews and clearly the blogs and online sites love this place but as much as I would like to be able to give it a better rating, I just can't. The wharf is fine if you want to walk along the water and if you enjoy tourist shops and expensive restaurants. You get a lovely view of the water in places and it is dog friendly, but the cars really dampen the experience. Along with the fresh sea air, you will find yourself inhaling a mixture of gasoline and exhaust. We saw a little one who wandered away from her mother almost get hit by a car driving far too fast. We also watched an "artist" scream at young couple and berate them for taking a photo of his sand sculpture without giving him a "tip". The city is lovely and so if you have limited time here, feel free to skip the wharf... there are plenty of nicer, less crowded spots along the water to explore.
Let's face it. 2020 has been a terrible year. Any amount of normalcy I can find is definitely welcomed. So when I took that first step onto Stearns Wharf I was transported to my childhood in San Diego and all was good again. Stearns Wharf has been a Santa Barbara staple since 1872 (!!!). It's survived time, weather and even fires! You can drive your car on it and park here if you want. I walked it and I'm 1000% sure it's totally safe but hearing those cars roll out on the wood....I'd have been nervous lol. There are 141 parking spots and the first 90 minutes is free before hitting $2.50/hour with a maximum fee of $20. Extremely reasonable IMO. On the pier itself you can fish, shop, eat and watch what's happening on the water. There's also the Sea Center (aquarium) which unfortunately you can't go inside during these times of COVID. That said, the cool breeze, smell of the sea, beautiful scenery and the total history where you're standing on are well worth your time. Highly recommended!
Stearns Wharf located in the scenic community of Santa Barbara California is always a great place to visit! Beach activities,walking and biking path,kayak,boat and beach action rentals! Plenty of scenic IG and photo ops and locations-then take a nice walk on State Street for food,shops,people watching,shoppong,theatres,and loads more! A great experience! . . . . #stearnswharf #santabarbara #californiadreamin #californiadreaming #ilovesantabarbara #statestreet #ilovecalifornia #waynesalvatti #photografxworldwide #igsantabarbara #ilovestearnswharf #beachaction #statestreet #surfsantabarbara #surfinusa #pacificcoasthighway #hwy1
Review of Stearns Wharf, from Tripadvisor
Ranked #24 of 69 attractions in Santa Barbara. No visit to Santa Barbara would be complete wtihout a stroll down this beautiful wharf. Also a great place for that Kodak moment while visitng Santa Barbara.
Amy K. Los Angeles
Review of Stearns Wharf, from Gogobot Reviews
Relax by enjoying a meal outdoors on the patio of the Harbor Restaurant, then walk around the wharf breathing in the fresh ocean air. Christine M