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Why do you need to visit Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara?

About Stearns Wharf

Stearns Wharf is a wooden pier containing souvenir shops, eateries and fishing shacks. Built in 1872, it is the oldest functioning pier on the West Coast, although, in fact, the structure has been rebuilt several times. It also has easy access to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

Stearns Wharf is the longest deep-water jetty between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The marina has survived several storms and fires, earthquakes and floods. The last time Stearns Wharf burned was not so long ago – in 1998. Then the famous restaurant Moby Dick burned down, and the pier itself was restored within two years.

Stearns Wharf 
Stearns Wharf 

The pier is known for the fact that it is allowed to enter by car. For the first 90 minutes, parking is not paid. The pier offers views of the picturesque coastline dotted with slender rows of palm trees. There is a small public seating area on the dock where you can sit comfortably, have a drink and a snack. True, for obvious reasons, there are no barbecues here, in contrast to land-based recreation areas.

On Stearns Wharf, dogs are permitted, and any municipal rules/laws/regulations governing animals and/or dogs apply. All dogs must be on a leash no more than 6 feet in length, under your strict control at all times, and you must clean up after your dog.

Top 10 things to do at Stearns Wharf:

  • Choose from the 5 best restaurants and enjoy your meal with water views on Stearns Wharf.
  • Visit the Santa Barbara Sea Center.
  • Visit the Deep Sea Wine Tasting room and enjoy a glass of tasty wine.
  • Buy yourself or your children sweets or ice cream in one of the cafes.
  • Walk along Stearns Wharf while enjoying gentle sea breezes and waves lapping.
  • Go to Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle at the end of the pier, to rent or buy fishing lines.
  • Rent kayaks and paddleboards at beautiful West Beach, directly west of Stearns Wharf.
  • Visit fortune-teller Madame Rosinka, the longest-running merchant on the pier.
  • Enjoy incredible sunsets.
  • View the spectacular ridgeline of the Santa Ynez Mountains from the sparkling waters of Santa Barbara Harbor.