4 of the Best Things to Do at Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara

At the ripe old age of 130, Stearns Wharf is Santa Barbara’s most visited tourist attraction. It was named after lumberman John P. Stearns and served the passenger and freight shipping needs of California’s South Coast for over a quarter century. Today, this historic landmark is an ideal destination for shopping, dining, and outdoor recreation. The dramatic views are just a bonus! Here’s why a trip to the wharf should be on your vacation itinerary.

Learn more about Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara and other local attractions when you download our free vacation guide! It’s full of recommendations for great places to visit during your stay at the Cheshire Cat Inn.

How to Explore Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara

1. Get Outside

One of the best parts about visiting the American Riviera is the beautiful weather – and since Stearns Wharf is located right on the water, it’s the perfect place to go for a fun day outdoors! Visitors can take a harbor tour on the Santa Barbara Water Taxi, or learn about our region’s wildlife at the Natural History Sea Center. Other family-friendly activities include:

  • Fishing (Gear is available at Stearns Wharf Bait & Tackle)
  • Whale Watching
  • Wine Tasting at Deep Sea Wine Tasting Room
  • Palm Readings with Madame Rosinka

2. Go Shopping

In the mood for a little retail therapy? You’re in luck! There are plenty of specialty shops to explore at Stearns Wharf. You’ll find souvenirs at Old Wharf Trading Co., delicious candy at Mother Stearns Candy Shop, and unique jewelry, candles, and shells at Nature’s Own Gift Shop. Be sure to pick up an ice cream cone from The Great Pacific Ice Cream Company to help you cool off while browsing.

3. Eat, Eat, Eat

All of that shopping is sure to work up an appetite! Lucky, the wharf’s restaurants boast some of the best food (and views) in all of Santa Barbara. You can indulge in steaks and fine wine at the Harbor Restaurant, or try the delicious local seafood at Santa Barbara Shellfish Company. For a more casual dining experience, head to Longboard’s Grill, Moby Dick, or Char West.

4. Attend an Event

Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara hosts a number of events throughout the year. One of the most popular is Fourth of July when the wharf comes to life with live music, food vendors, kid’s activities, and an awesome fireworks show. It’s a great way to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends.

Come Home to the Cheshire Cat Inn

When it’s time to book your stay in Santa Barbara, look no further than the Cheshire Cat Inn! Our bed and breakfast is just a 10-minute drive from Stearns Wharf and has everything you need for a memorable getaway. You’ll find comfortable accommodations, top-notch amenities, and beautiful views right here at our inn. We even offer a complimentary wine tasting hour each evening and a delicious homemade breakfast in the morning. So what are you waiting for? Check our availability and book your stay today!

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