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Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Santa Barbara, CA
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Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara California


One of the reasons Santa Barbara is so lovely is the amount of wealth in this city, and the generosity of its residents, who donate land and treasures for the public to enjoy. Santa Barbara Museum of Art has many of those treasures, including some major masterpieces by 19th century European artists!
It is a small gallery on State Street. Downstairs there is a pretty courtyard with some awful headless and other-body-part-less Greek and Roman statues. There are usually some first-rate temporary exhibits downstairs. There is a nice section of European art, which I LOVE! Check out the wonderful paintings by Henri Rousseau that show his remarkable use of light.
Kids like to see the Asian art section with its intimidating Asian armor and scary lion heads, though younger kids will be bored at this museum because there is nothing to touch.
It takes about an hour or less to see everything. The museum's gift shop located beside the museum on State Street has some great stuff. My son loves to look around in there. There is a cafe inside the gift shop.
Just next door to the museum is La Arcada, a Spanish arcade with gorgeous architecture, fountains, sculptures, flags, and sidewalk cafes. At night it comes alive with little lights adorning the arches and trees.
Across State Street is Victoria Court, a pretty plaza with cafes and restaurants, and a playhouse.
Within walking distance from the museum is a stunning area that you mustn't miss out on! On three adjacent blocks are two of the most gorgeous parks! Tall regal trees and lush green lawns beckon you to stay a while. Check out Alameda Park with its wooden castle playground called Kidsworld, and Alice Keck Park with its gardens full of flowering trees and pond with turtles and ducks.


Photo Gallery

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The back entrance to the museum.
The back entrance to the museum.
Looking toward the inner sculpture courtyard.
Looking toward the inner sculpture courtyard.
Interesting art hanging from the ceiling above the stairwell.
Interesting art hanging from the ceiling above the stairwell.


Santa Barbara Museum of Art is located at 1130 State St, Santa Barbara CA 93101.
Exit Highway 101 at Carrillo St. If coming from the 101 northbound, turn right. If southbound, turn left. At the fourth street, Chapala St, turn left. Go two blocks and turn right on Anapamu St. Turn right on Anacapa St and pull into the driveway for the parking lot immediately on your right.
Parking costs $1.50 an hour. The first 75 minutes are free.
The museum entrance is on the corner of Anapamu and State Street.
Admission is $10 for adults, and $6 for children/teens/seniors/students. Children under 6 years old enter for free. Entrance is free on Thursday evenings from 5-8.
Hours are Tuesday-Sunday 11am-5pm, Thurs 11-8. Closed Mondays and holidays. Call (805) 963-4364 to be sure.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:

05/01/2010 21:44
Who created the silver, moving sculpture at the entrance to the museum and what\'s it entitled?

10/09/2009 13:39
If you like art or just looking for a nice way to spend the afternoon, the SBMA is worth a trip

09/09/2009 14:35
If we're on State Street & need to get out of the stroller, we duck into this museum's kid's interactive area which is a nice break on hot days because it's inside - walk throught the the museum store and it's inside across from the museum cafe.

09/09/2009 13:35
Downtown SB is a great place for the kids to explore. We played in front of the Art Museum while waiting for the library to open yesterday. The kids had a good time.

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Last Updated: Wed, 17 May 2017 02:22:47 GMT