Santa Barbara County Museums

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Display of more than 70 horse-drawn carriages; many are shown in the annual Old Spanish Days Parade. Open Mon-Fri, 9:00am-3:00pm. Docent-led tours are held on the 3rd Sunday of the month, 1:00pm-4:00pm. 129 Castillo Street, Santa Barbara (Inside of historic Pershing Park) 962-2353 * carriagemuseum.org

Casa de la Guerra

This historic adobe, now open as a house museum, features period rooms and special exhibitions. Under construction from 1819-1827, the house reflects the history of its original occupants - the family of city patriarch José De la Guerra. Open Sat-Sun, 12:00pm-4:00pm. Adults $5.00, Seniors $4.00, free for children 16 and under (also includes admission to El Presidio). 15 E. De la Guerra Street, Santa Barbara 965-0093 * sbthp.org/casa.htm

El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park

The Presidio is the reconstruction of the original fort built at Santa Barbara's founding in 1782. It features a splendidly decorated chapel, officers' and padres' quarters and special events celebrating local history. Open daily, 10:30am- 4:30pm. Adults $5.00, Seniors $4.00, free for children 16 and under (also includes admission to Casa de la Guerra). 123 E. Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara 965-0093 * sbthp.org/presidio.htm

Karpeles Manuscript Library

The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums amass the world's largest private collection of significant historical manuscripts in the world covering art, history, literature, religion and science. Among those items on permanent display in the Santa Barbara museum is an original stone copy of the Declaration of Independence, a replica of the globe used by Columbus (sans the Western Hemisphere), handwritten scores by a dozen leading composers, and the computer guidance system used on the first Apollo lander flight to the moon. Open Wed-Sun, 12:00pm-4:00pm. Admission is free. 21 W. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara 962-5322 * rain.org/~karpeles

Old Mission Santa Barbara

Its beautiful setting, unique twin bell towers and lovely facade have earned this Santa Barbara landmark the title "Queen of the Missions." The 10th of the California religious outposts, it was founded in 1786 by the Spanish Franciscans and was for many years a home for Chumash Indians who lived in the area. Open daily, 9:30am-4:30pm. Self-guided tours: Adults $5.00, Seniors $4.00, Youth (5-15) $1.00, free for children 4 and under. Docent-guided tours: Adults $8.00, Seniors $7.00, Youth (5-15) $4.00, free for children 4 and under. 2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara 682-4713 * santabarbaramission.org

Santa Barbara Historical Museum

An authentic adobe complex, including the Covarrubias Adobe, housing treasures from the Chumash, Spanish, Mexican and American eras. Open Tue-Sat, 10:00am-5:00pm and Sun, 12:00pm- 5:00pm. Guided tours are offered Sat-Sun, 2:00pm. Admission is free, donations appreciated. 136 E. De la Guerra Street, Santa Barbara 966-1601 * santabarbaramuseum.com

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

The museum features beautiful and informative exhibits on the history of the waterfront area, the trade with El Presidio, the offshore oil industry and the early ranching industries on the Channel Islands. Open daily, except Wednesday. Labor Day-Memorial Day, 10:00am- 5:00pm. Memorial Day-Labor Day, 10:00am-6:00pm. Adults $7.00, Seniors $4.00, Students (with ID)/youth ages 6-17 $4.00, children ages 1-5 $2.00. 113 Harbor Way, Suite 190, Santa Barbara 962-8404 * sbmm.org

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

The Museum of Art contains 27,000 works of art, spanning more than 5,000 years of human creativity. Their collection includes classical antiquities rivaled in the West only by the J. Paul Getty Museum, and masterpieces of French Impressionism. The SBMA is open Tue-Sun, 11:00am-5:00pm and closed Mon. Adults $10.00, Seniors $6.00, Students (with ID)/youth ages 6-17 $6.00, under 6 free. 1130 State Street, Santa Barbara 963-4364 * sbma.net

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

The lives of the Chumash from prehistory to current times are brought to life in the Chumash Indian hall, one of the largest collections of Chumash materials in the world. Current exhibits include: TINKERTOY®: Build Your Imagination, Magic Planet, Plains Indian Beadwork and Regalia from the Anthro, and Moorpark Southern Mammoth. Open daily 10:00am-5:00pm. Adults $12.00, Seniors $8.00, Teen (13-17) $8.00, Children (2-12) $7.00, children under 2 are free. 2559 Puesta del Sol Road, Santa Barbara (just behind the Old Mission) 682-4711 * sbnature.org

SBMNH's Ty Warner Sea Center

At the Ty Warner Sea Center visitors can enjoy interactive exhibits, opportunities to work like scientists, a theater showcasing the wonders of the Santa Barbara Channel, hands-on close encounters with sea creatures, and a live shark touch pool. Children can crawl through a 1,500- gallon tidepool tank to see ocean life from a different perspective. Open daily, 10:00am-5:00pm. Adults $8.00, Seniors $7.00, Teen (13-17) $7.00, Child (2-12) $5.00, children under 2 are free. 211 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara 962-2526 * sbnature.org/twsc

Santa Barbara Surfing Museum

The Santa Barbara Surfing Museum was established in 1992 by Jim O'Mahoney and has been featured in most major magazines and on television networks worldwide over the last 15 years. Open Sun, 12:00pm-5:00pm. Free admission. 16½ Helena Avenue #C, Santa Barbara 962-9048 * sbsurfingmuseum.com

South County Museums

Carpinteria Valley Museum of History

Features exhibits on Chumash Indians, Pioneer lifestyles; general early California history from Spanish exploration and conquest during the Mission period, through the Mexican Rancho period, and the Gold Rush and American Pioneer periods. Open Tue-Sat, 1:00pm-4:00pm. Admission is free; donations are appreciated. 956 Maple Avenue, Carpinteria 684-3112 carpinteriahistoricalmuseum.org

Rancho La Patera & Stow House

The Stow House, a two-story 1872 Victorian, is the oldest frame house in the Goleta Valley. Visitors can walk through the gardens, tour the Stow House, get an overview in the Visitor Interpretive Center and enjoy hands-on exhibits in the Cavalletto History Education Center. Open Sat-Sun, 1:00pm-4:00pm. Admission is free; donations appreciated. 304 North Los Carneros Road, Goleta 681-7216 * stowhouse.com

South Coast Railroad Museum

The museum focuses on the history, technology, and adventure of railroading. Special emphasis is placed on the railroad's contributions to local history, including Goleta's 1901 Southern Pacific Depot, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Open Thurs and Fri, 1:00pm-4:00pm and Sat and Sun, 11:00am-4:00pm. Admission is free; donations are requested. 300 North Los Carneros Road, Goleta 964-3540 * goletadepot.org

North County Museums

Elverhøj Museum of History and Art

Elverhøj's mission is to "collect, preserve and exhibit the history and Danish culture of Solvang and to promote the arts." This is one of the few museums outside of Denmark to be completely devoted to Danish culture. Open Wed-Sun, 11:00am-4:00pm. Admission is free; donation suggested. 1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang 686-1211 * elverhoj.org

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park

Founded in 1787, the La Purisima Mission was the 11th mission established in California and is currently the most extensively restored mission in the state. The nearly 2,000-acre park is also home to 25 miles of hiking trails, a visitor center, exhibit hall, and livestock. Free guided tours available daily at 1:00pm. The park is open daily, 9:00am-5:00pm. $6.00/vehicle, Seniors $5.00. 2295 Purisima Road, Lompoc 733-3713 * lapurisimamission.org

Lompoc Museum

Visit the Clarence Ruth gallery, which features one of the largest collections of Chumash artifacts, the Lompoc Valley Historical Society exhibit, and the Juanita Centeno Memorial exhibit. Open Tue-Fri, 1:00pm-5:00pm and Sat-Sun, 1:00pm-4:00pm. 200 S. H Street, Lompoc 736-3888 * lompocmuseum.org

Natural History Museum, Santa Maria

Several exhibits and interactive displays are available including a touch table full of animal skins and life-sized ocean creatures in the museum garden. Open Wed-Sat, 11:00am-4:00pm and Sun, 1:00pm-4:00pm. 412 S. McClelland, Santa Maria 614-0806 naturalhistorysantamaria.com

Old Mission Santa Inés

Founded in 1804. Displays numerous pieces of art, artifacts, documents and vestments. Daily self-guided tours, 9:00am-4:30pm. Adults $5.00, free for children 11 and under. 1760 Mission Drive, Solvang 688-4815 * missionsantaines.org

Santa Maria Museum of Flight

Learn about local history, see many restored aircrafts, or visit the Thunder over the Valley Air Show in August. Museum is open Fri-Sun, 10:00am-4:00pm. Adults $5.00, Seniors $4.00, Children 7-11 $2.00, Children 12-17 $3.00. 3015 Airpark Drive, Santa Maria 922-8758 * smmof.org

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum

A variety of fun and exciting exhibits, all with a hands-on atmosphere that encourages learning and discovery. Open Mon-Sat, 10:00am-5:00pm; open until 7:00pm the 3rd Thurs of the month. 705 S. McClelland Street, Santa Maria 928-8414 * smvdiscoverymuseum.org

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Parks-Janeway Carriage House

This museum celebrates the history of the Santa Ynez Valley with permanent collections featuring early books, documents, and artifacts, along with beautiful saddles, carriages, and horse related gear at the Parks-Janeway Carriage House. Open Wed-Sun, 12:00pm-4:00pm. Tours by appointment, Tuesday-Friday. Adults $4.00, free for children 16 and under. 3596 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez 688-7889 * santaynezmuseum.org

Wildling Art Museum

The Wilding Art Museum features ever-changing art exhibits offering visitors a unique perspective on the importance of preserving our natural heritage. The museum is in the process of moving to a new, larger location, which will allow for 3-5 exhibits at one time. They expect to be open in the summer 2013. Check website for details. Open Wed-Mon (closed Tuesday), 11:00am-5:00pm. 1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang 688-1082 * wildlingmuseum.org