Linda Spanberger had one request, a place she wanted to stop when we visited coastal California. She wanted to go to Stearn’s Wharf that is located outside of the beautiful Santa Barbara. According to information on the pier’s website they claim that Stearn’s Wharf is Santa Barbara’s most visited tourist attraction.
While at the pier we shopped through the stores and stopped at a Longboard’s Grill, a seaside restaurant, and I dined on fish and chips and we enjoyed our view of the water and ate way too much.
There is a lot of history at this fun place. Stearn’s Wharf is the oldest working wood wharf in California. The wharf is 2,300 feet long and has an area of 3.8 acres. The wharf is supported by 2,307 piling so.
Built in 1872 by John Pack Stearn’s the original purpose of the wharf was to facilitate the transfer of cargo and people from ships to shore. Stearn came to Santa Barbara in 1867 and opened a lumber yard. Noting that the town needed a wharf so that ships could tie up at low tide he jilt the wharf with the financial backing of Colonel William Welles Hollister.
Over the years the wharf has survived a crash by a Chinese Junker, escaped a 1921 fire and the 1983 Hundred Year storm. In 1986 there was also a huge fire that closed the wharf for six months. Another fire in 1998 also caused some destruction as well.
The wharf has a lot of entertainment options you can ride a water taxi, visit the Sea Center or walk along the beach.
When we were at the beach, we saw the most amazing sand sculpture of a soldier so realistic it was breath taking. The artist was taking donations for his work. After depositing a well deserved donation I took pictures of the realistic sculpture wondering a bit about the artist who said he was not a veteran.
We enjoyed the statue of the dolphin the led into the pier and the Bird of Paradise flowers growing wild along the border.
Santa Barbara’s downtown was also quite lovely and we also spent a bit of time slipping in and out of shops after stopping at the Santa Barbara mission first thing in the morning. History and beauty combined to make Stearn’s Wharf a memorable stop. Log onto http://www.stearnswharf.org/ for more information.