In the 1920s, local resident and big-time philanthropist Major Max Fleischmann, a yeast tycoon, needed a protected place to park his luxury yacht, Haida. His solution? Donate millions of dollars to the city to build a breakwater and harbor.
Today’s thriving harbor is home to more than a thousand boats, the yacht club, Maritime Museum, Outdoors Santa Barbara Visitor Center, restaurants, the Santa Barbara Fish Market, and shops. It’s also the hub of all types of maritime activities, from whale-watching excursions and sailing adventures to kayak and jet ski rentals.
Walk along the harbor perimeter and breakwater for fantastic views and people-watching. Dogs are allowed on leash.
The harbor parking lot is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t want to pay, look for free 90-minute spaces near the harbor entrance.