Stearns Wharf is a pier at the cross section of the end of State Street and Cabrillo, in the harbor in Santa Barbara, California, United States. When completed In 1872, it became the longest deep-water pier between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Named for its builder, local lumberman John P. Stearns, the wharf served the passenger and freight shipping needs of California's South Coast for over a quarter century. Before the wharf, passengers and cargo had to be rowed ashore through the breakers and kelp. Despite the great convenience offered by the wharf, Santa Barbara remained a fair-weather harbor with an acute need for a breakwater. During December 1878, storms destroyed and washed away more than 1,000 feet of the wharf. Despite these losses, it would be another 52 years before Santa Barbara got its needed breakwater.
When the railroad reached Santa Barbara in 1877, Stearns added another spur to the wharf, providing a necessary transport link to his lumberyard and the nearby Southern Pacific Depot. The spur was damaged by severe storms in the early 20th century and was finally abandoned in 1923.
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Dave Cotterill | Feb 24, 2018
Nice place to visit. Large wharf lots of shops. Provides great view of Santa Barbara which is a lovely city to visit with lots of historic buildings and beautiful houses. Can charter sea fishing too which was great. Beach is very nice spot and attracts amazing local sand carvers.
Jennifer Parnell | Mar 3, 2018
A lovely place to walk the pier with great ocean views and views of the Santa Barbara area. There are several restaurants with good cocktails and food. Check the menus before picking a restaurant as some are more reasonably priced than others. Moby Dick's has awesome happy hour cocktails. You can also get a great view of the sunset from this pier.
Phil Miller | Feb 20, 2018
Great Pier with some excellent fishing spots for Mackerel. Saw a Lemon Shark circling at the end of the pier at the surface looking for easy prey. There's an excellent restaurant at the entrance to the pier also. Well worth a visit when in S.B.
Jack Dvir | Jan 5, 2018
Bathrooms located in two different spots on the pier besides the ones inside the restaurants and the sea life center. You must go to the Sea life center. Be sure to stop first at the Santa Barbara Visitor Center to get the map for tourists which has a $2 off coupon per person to the sea life center. I was also surprised at how little the parking cost on the pier, especially compared to other peers like Santa Monica. I believe the first 90 minutes was free and then it's only a dollar fifty per hour after that. The views were very nice and it was fun to stroll and get ice cream and see the shops.
Annette Ruiz | Jan 16, 2018
A very nice view of the ocean and of the Santa Barbara mountains in the background. It's a cool spot up come and have lunch and enjoy the view. We walked there but parking did not seem very expensive. I believe first 90 minutes are free and a small charge after that. Parking however did seem limited, glad we walked.
Carlos Bethencourt | Apr 8, 2018
It's a good place to visit if coming to Santa Barbara. Easy parking and a few options to satisfy your craving for seafood. Since its a touristy place, the prices on the restaurants tend to be a little on the high side, but apart from that, the service from these folks is very good. Go there take your pictures, maybe get an ice cream and go to the main street to grab your bite.
Mary King | Apr 14, 2018
Great food. Delicious specials. I had fried combination plate which was very good. Hubby's fresh abalone was delicious. Complimentary chowder excellent. Will be returning again.
Autumn Bland | Mar 13, 2018
Awesome location, parking was quick and easy. The pier was nice and wide with an old authentic feel. I would give it 5 stars if it had some more diverse foods and retail. We left the pier to go eat but I would have liked to stay there and enjoy the view.
Robert Kuchera | Apr 6, 2018
A nice place with some pricey but good restaurants on it. As an European I was shocked to see cars driving up and down the wharf. It would be so much cooler without the cars imo. However the views are pretty cool.
Grayson Hittle | Apr 10, 2018
Coolest little wharf in Southern California. The Sea Center, the Shellfish Company, the candy and ice cream shops. Free parking for the first 75 minutes. Right next to downtown and the newly revitalized Funk Zone, full of trendy shops, restaurants and wine tasting rooms.
Keith Odom | Jun 12, 2018
This is a very interesting place. The Wharf juts out over the water, and the only reason I felt comfortable enough to drive out was that I had people with me who knew the place. There are stores and restaurants that look amazing. The views are fantastic. The area was full of cars, and parking at the beach was totally full with people waiting, but parking on the Wharf was a breeze. The first 1.5 hours were free, and since we were there for a quick trip just to see, we didn't have a parking cost - though we made up for it with food and shopping! Not the best quality stuff to buy, but good enough for souvenirs. All in all, a great find, and an even better deal regarding the parking since I would have never thought we'd find a place considering what was happening on the beaches.
Xesh Hurst | May 25, 2018
My family and I love coming here. Just for a walk, eat and enjoy the view. The sea center is a nice little look into what beauty's lye beneath the water. And you can walk along the sidewalk just off the peir and see the local artists talent. Just up the road is the S.B. Zoo, so every time we go see the animals, we make a point to stop by here to finish our day.
Charlie | Jun 13, 2018
Stearns Wharf is not a bad place to walk out and enjoy a walk over the water. Nice view of the shoreline. Not much to do but a few stores and restaurants. There was free parking for first 90 minutes on the Wharf I believe but not sure since we parked on the street and walked in.
Regan Andress | May 27, 2018
The wharf was fun, situated right off the beach. Little nick-nack shops and some good seafood restaurants. Google maps will drive you straight onto the pier... If you don't want to drive or pay for parking, head up the street to the Amtrak station. There is free public parking for the first 75 minutes
Brian VP | Jun 8, 2018
Got a pinwheel salad, two cheese cakes and two carrot cakes to go. Ordered them through phone 15 minutes prior to arrival and they were ready for us. Excellent, was on a time crunch. All items were excellent, we enjoyed them as well as our friends.
Kim Larsen | Jul 10, 2018
Stearns Wharf is a fabulous tourist attraction and not to be missed. Whether you are new to the area, an old time resident or hosting out of town family and friends, this is one place you need to see. There are many great restaurants, shops and glorious views of the Pacific Ocean. The boardwalk is a lot of fun and there is plenty to see and amuse one.
Sabrina M. | Jul 8, 2018
My brother and I spent the 4TH of July on Sterns Wharf, at an event at The Sea Center. The Sea Center was hosting an event for volunteers, staff and their families. It was closed to everyone else. We brought a picnic and food to share. Many interesting people to fellowship with. It was an awesome experience. The Sea Center, is home to sharks, rays, jellies, fish and other sea wonders. There are touch tanks and viewing areas. There is an open-source to the ocean where one can bring up items from the ocean floor. The Sea Center is fun, educational, and an experience not to be missed! The volunteers and staff are friendly and knowledgeable about everything sea related. Since the ocean is right in our backyard, its a good idea to learn more about it. We need to learn to care for it better. Go experience the Sea Center!! The Sea Center is part of The Natural History Museum in Santa Barbara.
Kesh Patel | Jul 10, 2018
What a peaceful Wharf. Just to take a stroll and watch everyone catching fish along the wharfside gives you this nostalgic feeling. The views are impeccable from the wharf especially when the sun is setting. A fisherman allowed us to catch fish with him and our kids loved it. Friendly locals all around.
Zeke Buf | Jul 3, 2018
Most picturesque place in SB. The pier is amazing with the mountains as back drop. The view is amazing throughout the day. Many interesting shops and artists here. So there is a lot to see too. Come here and enjoy a walk!
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