The Museum and Sea Center are closed until it is safe to reopen, but we are all working hard on our summer exhibits and look forward to socializing soon!



We want everyone to have a great time at the Museum and Sea Center, so we strive to make our programs, exhibitions, and facilities accessible for everyone by removing barriers, delivering a welcoming and relevant experience, and providing opportunities for meaningful engagement.

The Museum and Sea Center welcome guests, staff, volunteers, and visiting scholars regardless of race, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, or disability status. We’re dedicated to serving all parts of the global and local communities.

For more information, contact or call 805-682-4711 ext. 100 (Museum) or 805-962-2526 ext. 100 (Sea Center).

Sea Center

Accessible parking is available at the Sea Center on Stearns Wharf.

The Sea Center has two levels and an elevator. All exhibits are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, however, the Sea Center does not have wheelchairs available for guest use.


ADA Accessible Pathways and Restrooms

Renovations in 2018 have made the Museum more accessible than ever to those with physical disabilities. Most exhibits at the Museum are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, with the exception of Farrand Auditorium, Space Lab, and Gladwin Planetarium. Strollers are not allowed inside the Butterfly Pavilion. Download our ADA Accessible Map to plan your visit, or ask for a copy at the Admissions Office when you arrive.

Accessible pathways for wheelchairs and strollers are indicated on the map in blue. All restrooms have accessible facilities and are indicated on the map by a wheelchair symbol.

All-Gender Restroom

The ADA-accessible single-use restroom for our guests is also an all-gender restroom. It is located at the front of Fleischmann Auditorium, across from the gendered restrooms. Look for the restroom and wheelchair symbols together on the map, and ask staff if you’d like assistance finding it.

ADA access

Wheelchair Rental

Wheelchairs are available for guest use at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis in the Admissions Office. Guests are asked to leave a valid ID or collateral upon check-out. ID/Collateral is given back to the guest when the wheelchair is checked back in.


Accessible parking spots are located in front of the Blue Whale Skeleton in the Museum's parking lot. The parking spots are next to an accessible pathway to the Admissions Office. Guests may also use the drop-off area along Puesta del Sol to shorten the distance from the parking lot to the Museum entrance. 

Service Animals Policy

In order to provide a secure and healthy environment for our guests, as well as to protect our collections, we can only allow trained service animals on Museum property. A service animal is one that is trained to work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Guests with service animals must agree to:

  • Have their animal on a six-foot or shorter leash. No retractable leashes allowed.
  • Observe live birds of prey (Eyes in the Sky) from a distance of 25 feet. Please do not approach live birds with your animal.
  • Carry small animals while in the Butterfly Pavilion to avoid accidents with butterflies or other guests.
  • Be aware that some Museum guests are afraid of or allergic to animals.
  • Pick up after their service animal.
  • Leave Museum property if their animal misbehaves. 

Language Accessibility

The Museum offers two iPads loaded with the Google Translate App for guests who would like support in the translation of exhibit content. iPads can be checked out for up to two hours from Naturalist staff in the Museum’s Curiosity Lab exhibit space. Guests are asked to leave a valid ID or collateral upon check-out. ID/Collateral is given back to the guest when the device is checked back in.

Personal Care Assistant

A paid personal care assistant (PCA) accompanying a guest with a severe disability receives free admission.

Guests on the Autism Spectrum or with Sensory Sensitivity

For those affected by autism or sensory sensitivity, the Museum offers resources that can be used before and/or during their visit.

High Sensory Spaces at the Museum:

  • Curiosity Lab: includes pelts, skulls, and specimens to touch. Features play-camping zone; specimen microscope; and interactives.
  • Museum Backyard and Nature Club House: includes outdoor interactives including a man-made creek with boulders to explore, loose parts for nature art, mud kitchen, and staff-lead animal interactions.
  • Mammal Hall: includes pelts, skulls, and touchable interactives at key exhibits. Features iPad with Diorama Explorer.
  • Santa Barbara Gallery: includes a touchable topographic map, abalone shell cart, and features large touch screen interactive and iPad with Diorama Explorer.
  • Bird Hall: includes touchable interactives at key exhibits and features large touch screen interactive and iPad with Diorama Explorer.

Low Sensory Spaces at the Museum:

  • Museum Library: historic library with an abundance of books and seating to relax.
  • Farrand Auditorium: Need a break space? Take a few moments to rest in our Auditorium next to the Space Sciences gallery when not in use.

Groups Needing Special Accommodations

The Museum partners with organizations that serve a variety of audiences and populations. If there are special accommodations that the Museum can make to enhance accessibility for your group, please contact Justin Canty, Director of Education at or 805-682-4711 ext. 162.