Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Mar Monte Hotel, Stearns Wharf juts out more than 2,000 feet on the edge of Santa Barbara’s harbor, marking one of the all-out iconic landmarks along the American Riviera.
The history of this venerable pier is fascinating in and of itself, while you’ll also find a slew of shops, eateries, and other attractions lining its historic wooden reach.
Stearns Wharf: A Defining Santa Barbara Landmark
The construction of Stearns Wharf in 1872 helped end the geographic isolation early Santa Barbara faced, edged as it was by rugged mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Lumberman John P. Stearns oversaw its construction (and, obviously, served as the pier’s namesake).
Stearns Wharf—which marked the longest deep-water wharf on the California coast between San Pedro and San Francisco—served as an active pier for passenger and freight transport for decades, and has weathered storms, ship collisions, fires, and other ravages throughout its long history.
Today spanning 2,300 feet and nearly four acres—and propped up by better than 2,300 pilings—Stearns Wharf remains the Golden State’s oldest working wooden wharf, not to mention the most-visited destination in Santa Barbara.
Visiting Stearns Wharf
The time-tested timbers of Stearns Wharf—plus its sightlines over the harbor and out to sea—are reason enough to visit. But you’ll also find a diverse selection of businesses and tourist draws along the pier.
Those include the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Sea Center, where young and old alike can marvel at live sealife such as urchins, starfish, and sharks and explore exhibits and interpretive programs focused on the rich and dramatic underwater world of the Santa Barbara Channel.
You can also take a sunset cruise, hop the Santa Barbara Water Taxi, and explore a number of storefronts selling everything from gifts and souvenirs to clothing, artwork, and bait-and-tackle essentials.
If you work up an appetite, fear not: Stearns Wharf supports a number of eateries, including the Harbor Restaurant, Moby Dick, the Santa Barbara Shellfish Co., and Char West.
Take in the Delights of Stearns Wharf on an American Riviera Getaway to Mar Monte Hotel
You’ll find yourself mere minutes away from the historic hustle and bustle of Stearns Wharf as a guest of ours here at Mar Monte Hotel. The beloved wooden pier is only one of many Santa Barbara attractions convenient to our boutique hotel, from tasting rooms, theaters, and museums to mountain trails and whale-watching hotspots.
Call one of our rooms or suites your home-away-from-home on the American Riviera, take a Mar Monte Bike out for a surfside spin, dine at our on-site restaurants, and otherwise soak up our signature Hyatt Unbound Collection hospitality just steps from the beachfront—and just a stone’s throw from Stearns Wharf!